Commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day


For Immediate Release
May 3, 2024


Commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day

Magda Bognar was just 23 years old when she was incarcerated in Altenburg, a subcamp of the Ravensbruck concentration camp – the largest concentration camp designated specifically for women during the Holocaust. We know little of her story; she did not speak much of her experiences in her lifetime.

But Magda did write about them. In a poem titled “Ma, tegnap, holmap” (“Today, yesterday, tomorrow”), Magda wrote: 

The intern camp dreadful to recall
eight hundred in one place, to sleep on cement
to queue for one bit of bread, a little warm food
terrible struggle for terrible survival…
Our hair shorn, brutally disfigured
waited for our fate in a single silk shred
and the march began, in a horrible procession
we could hardly drag our worn out bodies in the terrible heat…
famished all day you were wallowing in dust…

Starting Sunday at sundown and extending through Monday at sundown, we observe Yom HaShoah. Also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah is a solemn occasion to remember the six million Jews and the millions of others – persons with disabilities, LGBTQI+ persons, Roma and Sinti, and other targeted groups – who were persecuted and brutally murdered at the hands of the Nazis. It is also an occasion to commemorate the countless acts of bravery of those who resisted. 

Through traditions like sharing stories of survivors and lighting candles in memory of the victims, we bear witness to the horrors of the Holocaust and stand against antisemitism, Holocaust denial and distortion, bigotry, and injustice in all forms, everywhere. This year’s commemoration is particularly sobering, as it comes seven months after the Hamas terrorist attacks on October 7 – the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust – and amid the devastating conflict in Israel and Gaza that continues to this day. On Yom HaShoah, we recommit to standing up for human rights – and building a future where all marginalized communities can live in peace and safety.  

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