Thursday, April 12th, marks Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. This annual day commemorates the six million Jews who were killed by the Nazis during World War II. It’s a solemn day that’s commemorated with various ceremonies and events dedicated to victims and survivors, as well as two minutes of silence in the morning. This day is sad, but is meant as a time of important reflection on the horrifying events of the past. To help understand that better, there are many Holocaust Remembrance Day quotes that are worth reading and focusing on.
Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is also known by its Hebrew name Yom HaShoah, falls on the 27th of the month of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar. This year, that translates to April 12th.
There are many ways that Israel will honor victims and survivors, and although you may not be there to partake, you can do the same at home. Some of the below quotes from victims, survivors, and observers will give you a better idea of what you’re reflecting on. They’re powerful and important to carry on.
1“Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” — Anne Frank
2“For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.” — Simon Wiesenthal, Death camp survivor and Nazi hunter
3“Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but, above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.” — Yehuda Bauer
4“I had no real communication with anyone at the time, so I was totally dependent on God. And he never failed me.” — Diet Eman, Things We Couldn’t Say
5“Escape was not our goal since it was so unrealistic. What we wanted was to survive, to live long enough to tell the world what had happened in Buchenwald.” — Jack Werber, Saving Children: Diary Of A Buchenwald Survivor And Rescuer
6“Surely there is no more wretched sight that the human body unloved and uncared for.” — Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom
7“Six million of our people live on in our hearts. We are their eyes that remember. We are their voice that cries out. The dreadful scenes flow from their dead eyes to our open ones. And those scenes will be remembered exactly as they happened.” — Shimon Peres
8“We must be listened to: above and beyond our personal experience, we have collectively witnessed a fundamental unexpected event, fundamental precisely because unexpected, not foreseen by anyone. It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say. It can happen, and it can happen everywhere.” — Primo Levi
9“I don’t want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death!” — Anne Frank
10“Fiction cannot recite the numbing numbers, but it can be that witness, that memory. A storyteller can attempt to tell the human tale, can make a galaxy out of the chaos, can point to the fact that some people survived even as most people died. And can remind us that the swallows still sing around the smokestacks.” — Jane Yolen
11“I grew up in Brooklyn and my parents were Holocaust survivors, so they never taught me anything about nature, but they taught me a lot about gratitude.” — Louie Schwartzberg
12“Jews survived all the defeats, expulsions, persecutions and pogroms, the centuries in which they were regarded as a pariah people, even the Holocaust itself, because they never gave up the faith that one day they would be free to live as Jews without fear.” — Jonathan Sacks
Even if you can’t do anything else to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust, reading and remembering these powerful quotes is important. Don’t allow the significance of this day to be forgotten.