January 23, 2014
Tammy Hertzbach, a Philadelphia-area resident, was born in Italy after World War II. A child of Holocaust survivors, her family’s story during and after the Holocaust is harrowing, yet inspiring.
Sadly, with each passing year, fewer survivors exist to tell their stories. The vacuum is filled by increasingly vocal Holocaust deniers. That’s why it is critical to remember.
In 2000, Italy proclaimed Jan. 27, the anniversary of the 1945 liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, a national day to commemorate Holocaust victims and those who risked their lives to try to save others. Other nations followed and in 2005, the U.N. General Assembly designated the day International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
It is a day to remember the past and work to counter those voices that would deny the truth. Let’s commemorate all the victims of the Holocaust and of other instances of genocide. Let’s listen to Tammy and other survivors who bear witness and exemplify courage to persevere.
Wherever we see suffering and mistreatment, let us acknowledge it and strive to end it. In that way, we honor those who perished, and preserve the lessons of the past.
Marcia Bronstein, Regional Director, American Jewish Committee