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Israeli Holidays: Yom Hashoah

Yom Hashoah is an annual day of remembrance for victims of the Holocaust observed by Jewish communities around the world.

This year Yom Hashoah begins at sundown on Monday, 20 April 2020 and continues until sundown on Tuesday, April 21.

Today we remember the 6 million Jews and millions of others senselessly murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust.


Holocaust Remembrance Day marks the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps in 1945.

In Israel, the Knesset made Holocaust Remembrance Day (also known as Yom Hashoah) a national holiday in 1959.

Yom Hashoah has been observed with speakers, poems prayers, songs, candlelight ceremonies and more tokens of remembrance.

The Holocaust began in 1933 when Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany. It ended in 1945 when Allied powers defeated the Nazis.

Jewish people were excluded from public life on September 15th, 1935 when the Nuremberg Laws were issued. These laws also stripped German Jews of their citizenship and their right to marry Germans.

Once World War II began, the Nazis ordered all Jews to wear a yellow Star of David on their clothing so they could be easily targeted.

Jews were forced to live in specific areas of the city called ghettos after the beginning of World War ll. In the larger ghettos, up to 1,000 people a day were picked up and brought by train to concentration camps or death camps.

Kristallnacht occurred on November 9th and 10th, 1938. Nazis pillaged, burned synagogues, broke windows of Jewish-owned businesses, and attacked Jewish people in Austria and Germany. 30,000 Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps.

In prison camps, prisoners were forced to do hard physical labor. Torture and death within concentration camps were common and frequent.

11 million people were killed during the Holocaust (1.1 million children). 6 million of those victims were Jewish. Other groups targeted by the Nazis were Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, disabled people, and Roma.

Two-thirds of Jewish people living in Europe at the time of World War II were killed by Nazis.


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