International Holocaust Memorial Day

Today, January 27, we remember the victims of the Holocaust, the genocide that resulted in the annihilation of 6 million Jews, 2 million Gypsies, 15,000 homosexual people and millions of others by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. Here are some of the stories from the web on this day.


The date, January 27, is the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Poland by the Russian army in 1945. One million people died there. USA today summarizes how countries around the world are marking the 71st anniversary.

Whether you’ve been subjected to horror or blessed with a peaceful life, please write #WeRemember and post the picture with the hashtag. Please don’t forget!

Lessons Learned: Surviving the Holocaust as a Gay Man. Rudolf Brazda, who died six years ago, recounted his experiences surviving Buchenwald. Watch him tell his story

The lessons we should learn from the Nazi persecution of gay people: PinkNews publisher Benjamin Cohen reflects on the persecution of gay people by the Nazis as Britain marks Holocaust Memorial Day.

David Roet recalls how his family was taken by the Nazis: As a seven-year-old Jewish boy in Holland in the early 1940s, Haim Roet had to adjust to Nazi-imposed restrictions on his daily life. He was no longer allowed to join his friends at playgrounds or parks and had to leave the public school he was attending to go to a Jewish school instead. “One day, the Germans came with the police and took us,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “We lived with my grandfather and they took us to the Jewish theater. That’s where they gathered the Jews before sending them to concentration camps in Holland or to Auschwitz.”

The near-forgotten history of the Holocaust’s gay victims. To this day, the number of homosexual men interned and killed in concentration camps is unknown; it is estimated to lie between 10,000 and 15,000 people, of whom at least half died in the camps. Gay Star News

President Barack Obama is honoring four people, including Americans from Indiana and Tennessee, for risking their lives to protect Jews during the Holocaust. Obama was joining Jewish leaders at a ceremony Wednesday at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, where the Righteous Among the Nations medals are to be presented posthumously. It’s the first time the ceremony is being held in the United States. Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., said Obama’s participation “will be a worthy tribute to the worthiest among us.” U.S. News

The LGBTQ Left Has an Anti-Semitism Problem. Writer Mark Joseph Stern who covers the law and LGBTQ issues for Slate Magazine, in a column on ‘Pinkwashing’ accusations and why do people focusing on hating Israel: “Nobody thought that France was attempting to distract from its terrible mistreatment of Roma immigrants when it legalized same-sex marriage. Nobody thought that South Africa was diverting attention from the painful, enduring remnants of apartheid when it gained marriage equality… A Wider Bridge and the Jerusalem Open House community center do not support the subjugation of Palestinians.”

Anti-Semitism in Germany ‘More Widespread Than We Can Imagine’ — Angela Merkel. “You can try arguing again and again” to reeducate Holocaust deniers or anti-Semites, but in the end “you also have to set clearer boundaries … and let them know that this has no place in our society,” Merkel said, adding that she has intervened personally with Facebook regarding hate propaganda. The Forward

67% of Israelis concerned for safety of Jews abroad. World Zionist Organization survey finds that 39% of Israelis believe that European Jews need to immigrate to Israel due to increasing anti-Semitism there, while 46% understand those who continue to live in Europe for economic, social and other reasons. Israel Today

Recollections of a Sick Soul: Ilona Karmel died on Dec. 13, 2000. She was supposed to have died in the Krakow ghetto, or in the Plaszow death camp, or when a retreating Wehrmacht half-track ran her down, crushing her legs and killing her mother; but instead she lived, came to Radcliffe, graduated, and wrote a novel, then married and, as fate would have it, wound up working in a Munich orphanage, where she began another novel, which she published back in Boston in 1969, eventually teaching “longer fiction” in the MIT Writing Program, which is where I met her in 1980. Continue reading on Tablet