Can we have a Holocaust Remembrance Day for all victims? The United Nations chose January 27 as the date for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, in honor of the day the Soviet Army reached Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945, even though the war would not end for months. I mourn deeply, for I have walked the grounds of Auschwitz-Birkenau on a cold, fall evening, and felt the presence of ghosts from many nations, of different beliefs, and of different ethnicities. It’s a statement of fact, that the number of victims identified in the “Holocaust” remains a subset of the full Nazi Genocide. I hope that we can light a candle of respect to all victims. Remembrance. Respect. Honor.
In honor of the record blizzard blanketing the East Coast, I thought of a Polish winter. In 1946, the high Tatra mountains offered Henry Zguda secluded safety from certain communist leaders looking to arrest him after the war. A friend hired Henry as a caretaker of a mountain cabin in the mountains. Thus, Henry spent the winter of 1945-46 skiing in safety in the Tatra Mountains.
Remember the name Raoul Wallenberg. As a Swedish diplomat dispatched to Budapest, Hungary in 1944, he is credited with saving over 100,000 Hungarian Jews from deportation and certain death. Ironically, even though the United States was allied with Stalin, and Sweden was neutral, Soviet officials took him into custody on January 17, 1945. He was never seen or heard from again.
Steve North, Associated Press file photo
Miep Gies, the woman who hid Anne Frank, died six years ago, on January 11, 2010, at the age of 100. Gies, along with her husband and three others, hid eight Jews from the Nazis for over two years, in a Secret Annex at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam. She never turned her back on her friend and employer, Otto Frank and his family, including his daughter Anne Frank. In Gies’ writings, she always described the eight people in hiding as “our friends.” Names like Miep Gies, Corrie Ten Boom, Henry Slawik, Irena Sendler, and so many others who risked their lives at great personal risk, share a special place in heaven.