"I told him that I did not believe that they could burn people in our age, that humanity would never tolerate it ..." — Elie Wiesel, Night
Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah) is a national day of commemoration in Israel, remembering the six million Jews who were brutally murdered in the Holocaust. The UN General Assembly has also designated January 27 — the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau — as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the victims of the Nazi era and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides. Below are ten websites which focus on the Holocaust. Some of them tell the history of what happened, others give the names of those who died and others provide documents, pictures and other information.
[Be sure to also see the first installment.]
Warning: It should go without saying that many of these sites have pictures and information that are shocking and horrifying. But the truth is they should be shocking to us. And we should see them, so that we may know of what man is capable. It is important to remember that the Holocaust was not the work of just one nation. Every other nation stood by and made excuses for not doing anything. By ignoring the situation, or refusing to allow Jews to immigrate, each country participated in its own way, either directly or indirectly. All the governments of the world were fully aware of what was going on in the death camps.
- Zachor - Faith during the Holocaust
- This site focuses on Jewish faith during the Holocaust. How did believing Jews contend with a situation in which God [seemed to] hide Himself while His entire people, including women and children, was being murdered? Did people try to observe commandments and study Torah despite the harsh conditions? Did people try to determine the halachah in these unprecedented situations? Did a particular way of thinking characterize halachic rulings in various situations during the Holocaust? Did any writings that document this spiritual steadfastness survive the Holocaust? Who were the rabbis who led the Jews in the occupied lands, and what did they do? How did believing Jews respond and what did they do after the war, when the survivors were trying to rebuild their lives? The Zachor website contains various materials, including archival documents (some of which are being made public for the first time), research studies, abstracts of books, and explanations of concepts.
- Holocaust Photograph Collections
- A large collection of pictures of the Holocaust, including pictures of the concentration camps, death camps, prisoners, children, ghettos, displaced persons, Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing squads), Hitler, and other Nazi officials.
- Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive
- Since 1981, Dr. Sidney Bolkosky, Professor of History at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, has interviewed Holocaust survivors. The University's Mardigian Library has been the repository of these interviews. This website provides a forum for those voices, "listening ears," as one survivor notes, and the facilities to record the testimonies. This archive represents a gurantee of honest presentation — unembroidered, without dramatization, a scholarly yet austerely moving collection of information and insight. Because of the subject matter, the project is what it is, does not need any hype or dramatization. It speaks for itself — literally.
- Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany
- The mission of the Claims Conference over its history has always been to secure a small measure of justice for Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. As a result, the German government has paid more than $60 billion in indemnification for suffering and losses resulting from Nazi persecution. Claims Conference negotiations have also resulted in the disbursement of funds from German and Austrian industry, as well as the Austrian government.
- Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site
- On March 22, 1933, a few weeks after Adolf Hitler had been appointed Reich Chancellor, a concentration camp for political prisoners was set up in Dachau. This camp served as a model for all later concentration camps and as a "school of violence" for the SS men under whose command it stood. In the twelve years of its existence over 200.000 persons from all over Europe were imprisoned here and in the numerous subsidary camps. 41.500 were murdered. The Memorial Site on the grounds of the former concentration camp was established in 1965 on the initiative of and in accordance with the plans of the surviving prisoners who had joined together to form the Comité International de Dachau.
- Voices of the Holocaust Project
- In 1946, Dr. David P. Boder, a psychology professor from Chicago's Illinois Institute of Technology, traveled to Europe to record the stories of Holocaust survivors in their own words. Over a period of three months, he visited refugee camps in France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, carrying a wire recorder and 200 spools of steel wire, upon which he was able to record over 90 hours of first-hand testimony. These recordings represent the earliest known oral histories of the Holocaust, which are available through this online archive. A very powerful site; includes English translations.
- House of the Wannsee Conference
- The Wannsee Conference was a meeting of senior officials of Nazi Germany, held in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee on 20 January 1942. The purpose of the conference was to ensure the cooperation of administrative leaders of various government departments in the implementation of the Final Solution to the Jewish Question, whereby most of the Jews of German-occupied Europe would be deported to Poland and murdered.
- Holocaust Survivor Children Missing Identity Site
- Many Holocaust survivors who were children at the time are still trying to locate information regarding their past, and perhaps you can help them. Others hope to find out the most basic information about themselves - their own name, their birth date and birthplace, the names of their parents. Sometimes the name these Holocaust survivors had as children was not the name given to them by their parents when they were born. This was a cover name used during WWII or an invented name given to the young Holocaust survivor after the war.
- Documentary Resources on the Nazi Genocide and its Denial
- This website provides full texts of essays and includes Internet resources on the Nazi genocide and its denial. It has been built, and continually updated, since 1995.
- World Holocaust Forum
- This is an international organization dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and its important lessons for all of humanity. The Foundation has been charged with two major functions. The first of which is the organization and administration of International Holocaust Forums on a continuing basis. The Foundation's second major function is the creation and administration of the European Holocaust education program.