Each year, Americans observe Holocaust Remembrance Day, known as Yom HaShoah in Hebrew, with activities and events that honor and remember the victims of the Holocaust and the Jewish resistance to the Nazis and their collaborators.
This year Holocaust Remembrance Day falls on May 1, which corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar.
To coincide with Yom HaShoah, the United States in 1979 established the Days of Remembrance as an annual eight-day period for local governments, schools, organizations and workplaces to host remembrance activities and events for their communities to pay tribute to those who perished during the Holocaust.
The U.S. Department of State on May 1 will partner with the Embassy of Belarus to host a reception and program to commemorate the Minsk Ghetto, including remarks by a survivor, Saveliy Kaplinsky. When Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, they confined the 80,000 Jews who lived in the city of Minsk to a ghetto surrounded by barbed wire and watchtowers and began to murder them. Between November 1941 and October 1942, the Nazis sent to Minsk nearly 24,000 Jews from Germany and central Europe. The Nazis and police authorities shot or gassed — in special gas vans — many of them upon arrival. Others were deported to death camps when the ghetto was liquidated in November 1943. Only a handful of the 104,000 survived.
Here are a few photos of past Days of Remembrance events in the United States:
Holocaust survivors listen to a remembrance service for the 6 million Jews who died during the Nazi regime at a Holocaust Memorial Day event in Los Angeles on April 21, 2017.
Visitors light memorial candles during the annual Names Reading ceremony to commemorate those who perished in the Holocaust, in the Hall of Remembrance at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on May 2, 2016, in Washington.
President Trump shakes hands with Tom A. Bernstein, chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, after making remarks at the National Commemoration of the Days of Remembrance ceremony in Washington on April 25, 2017.
“The Jewish people have endured oppression, persecution, and those who have sought and planned their destruction. Yet, through the suffering, they have persevered. They have thrived. And they have enlightened the world. We stand in awe of the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people,” said President Trump.