Yom Hashoah

Tonight marks the start of Yom Hashoah- or Holocaust Remembrance. It’s not just an important day to me because I’m Jewish, but I am the grandchild of Holocaust survivors. My maternal grandparents both lived through the Holocaust and my sister and I carry the responsibility to make sure that the next generations are educated about the Holocaust so that it never, ever happens again.

Although my grandparents don’t talk much about the Holocaust, there is no doubt that I know bits and pieces of what they lived through. The hiding, the concentration camps, the labour camps, the fear, the starvation, the Nazis, the death of family members, being scared, and being helpless. They survived, but they didn’t just survive.  They thrived. They lived through one of the most horrific events in history to not just sit and say “woe is me”. They traveled to Canada after the war to make a better life for themselves and my mother. They wake up each and every day and make a conscience decision to live life to its fullest.

I have often wondered what if I was in their shoes would I be able to be as strong as them? The truth is, I’m not so sure. HOW they lived through hell shaped them into who they are today but they never complain.  Imagine losing your mother and three younger siblings to the gas chamber? I’m sure my Zaidy (grandfather) thinks about them and must wonder what their lives would have been like had their survived. I know my uncle Moti use to talk about his younger sister Raisa with such love and just thinking about how she died is awful. But they never complained. If I’m sick for a few days I complain, but putting it in perspective I shouldn’t when I think about what they endured.

Each and every single survivor has a story. Each different from the other but one thing ties them together is their survival. They were the lucky ones who survived. Now it is my duty and my due diligence to make sure that they are never forgotten.

Below is an amazing movie made by the Azrieli Foundation of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs. I recently saw this clip and was very moved by it.

If you want more information I urge you to check out The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Yad Vashem



  1. Hope says:

    A beautiful tribute

Speak Your Mind