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Yom HaShoah – We Remember

This week, we commemorated Yom HaShoah and remember the victims of the Holocaust.

Every day the education team at the Sydney Jewish Museum facilitates conversations between Holocaust survivors and school students. In every interaction, survivors recall the loved ones lost during the Shoah. In speaking their names, and bringing them into their thoughts, they bring them back for that moment they are held in their minds. They share these names with thousands of Australian students and pass on their memories. In doing so, they also pass on the responsibility of memory to the next generation and to the wider Australian community. Their memories make Holocaust history personal and relevant in the world today.

On Yom HaShoah we also commemorate acts of heroism. It is the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, an event that has become emblematic of the strength and bravery of Jewish communities persecuted by the Nazis and heir collaborators. It is in this spirit that we also acknowledge the ongoing and unwavering contribution that Holocaust survivors and their families make at the Sydney Jewish Museum. Every survivor who speaks, recalls memories that are painful. They relive some of their most difficult moments, sometimes at significant personal cost. This act of sharing testimony is an incredible act of resistance. We know that these stories were never meant to be heard. That the Nazis intended no survivors to make it to this point to have their voices heard. By speaking to students in the museum, they continue to show incredible strength and bravery, naming the crimes and making them visible and personal.

For the memories of those who were killed, and the strength of those who survived and share their painful stories, We Remember.

Author: Dr Rebecca Kummerfeld, Head of Education