International Holocaust Memorial Day: January 27th

When I lived in Israel during the Yom Kippor War, Holocaust Memorial Day was in May. At this time there was no International Day and I believe was held mostly in synagogues. I also was unaware of the hundreds of thousands of refugees who sought haven here and elsewhere during WWII, since I was still a very young child.

Just recently I saw a PBS special on Ruth Gruber, who’s long career as a foreign correspondent, well ahead of her time as a career woman when she was still in her twenties, wrote several books about refugees and immigrants, one of which is entitled simply, Havenabout the ship that brought nearly 1,000 refugees from Europe to the US who would have been murdered by the Nazis. It included Jews, Catholics, and other so-called “enemies” of the Reich.

Photo of Ruth Gruber when she was a young foreign correspondent in 1944.
November 19, 2016 (from The Washington Post. Google Ruth Gruber or Washington Post for entire story and for other articles about Ruth’s wonderful accomplishments.)

“Ruth Gruber, an American journalist who stumbled into one of the great rescue stories of the Holocaust when the U.S. government appointed her to escort nearly 1,000 Jews across U-boat infested waters to the shores of the United States, died Nov. 17 at her home in Manhattan. She was 105….”

Ruth accompanied these men, women, and children on the journey from Italy to the U.S. during WWII and her book is informative and moving. She offers advice, care and acts as a compassionate listener, solving problems when she can. (She was sent by  U.S. Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes.)  Her writing is also excellent and gives you a sense of  the trials and tribulations suffered by so many people during and after the war. With the immigrant issue still looming big, this day is a reminder that compassion is needed to help people who seek asylum. Compassion never goes out of style!

I only learned about the International Holocaust Memorial Day a couple of years ago, but because there are still many people on the planet who are treated poorly because of the color of their skin or their religious beliefs or because of their gender choices, I feel this is an important day to honor with the watchwords “Never Again.”  I have lifted the info from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, reprinted below directly from the site. I hope to watch the program. (Link in text below.)


This photo is from the Home Page with the link: Introduction to the Holocaust. Go to the website to click on the link. I am unable to reproduce it here, but you can go to the site’s Home Page: .

The United Nations General Assembly 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.

Join the conversation and share your reflections about International Holocaust Remembrance Day on social media using #WeRemember.



On January 26 at 11 a.m. ET, the Museum will host a commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This program will feature remarks from the Honorable David O’Sullivan, Ambassador of the European Union to the United States, and a Holocaust survivor, musical selections, as well as a candle-lighting ceremony and victims’ names reading. Join live at


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