Holocaust Remembrance Day 🕯January 27, 2022
Today marks the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz on Jan. 27, 1945.
Wreaths were placed in Berlin today at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
President Biden said: “Today, we attempt to fill a piercing silence from our past — to give voice to the six million Jews who were systematically and ruthlessly murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators.” [AXIOS]
World remembers Holocaust as antisemitism rises in pandemic
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Survivors recalled their agony to a world they fear is forgetting, Israel’s parliamentary speaker wept in the German parliament and politicians warned of a resurgence of antisemitism on Thursday’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The day falls on the anniversary of the liberation by Soviet troops of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the most notorious of the death camps where Nazi Germany carried out its Final Solution seeking to murder the Jewish people of Europe.
At the memorial site in Poland, which was subjected to a brutal German occupation during World War II, a small number of survivors gathered in an auditorium. Attendance at the yearly event was sharply curtailed amid Europe’s coronavirus surge. Others joined online.
Nazi German forces killed 1.1 million people at Auschwitz, most of them Jews, but also Poles, Roma and others.
[6,000,000 were murdered in concentration camps during WWII; 1,000,000 were children.]
Mickey Levy, Speaker of the Knesset, reacts during the commemoration of the “Day of Remembrance of the Victims of National Socialism” in the German Bundestag, Berlin, Thursday, Jan.27, 2022. (Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)
Halina Birenbaum, a 92-year-old Polish-born poet who lives in Israel, recalled her suffering remotely. She was 10 when the Germans invaded and occupied Poland in September 1939, and was 13 when she was taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau after being led out of the gas chamber of the Majdanek camp thanks to a malfunction.
“I saw masses of the powerful but arrogant army of Nazi Germany as they marched cruelly, victoriously, into the devastated and burning streets of Warsaw,” she recalled.
“The countless experiences of infinite suffering on the brink of death are already a distant, unimaginable story for new generations,” she said.
Commemorations everywhere took place amid a rise of antisemitism that gained traction during lockdowns as the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated hatred online.
German parliament speaker Baerbel Bas said the pandemic has acted “like an accelerant” to already burgeoning antisemitism.
French President Emmanuel Macron, center, flanked by Auschwitz concentration camp survivor Esther Senot, second left, and Bergen-Belsen concentration camp survivor Victor Perahia, right, stand at attention at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022 in Paris. . Holocaust survivors and politicians warned about the resurgence of antisemitism and Holocaust denial as the world remembered Nazi atrocities and commemorated the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp on Thursday. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, Pool)
Miejsce Pamięci i Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau
Official recording from the LIVE stream of the commemoration event for the 77th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz (January 27, 2022, 16 CET).
‘Holocaust Remembrance Day was designated by United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/7 on 1 November 2005. The resolution came after a special session was held earlier that year on 24 January to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and the end of the Holocaust.’ [wikipedia]
From Marianne Williamson:
On this day of painful remembrance,
Please bless the souls of those who died in the Holocaust.
Bless the souls of those who were targeted,
and bless the souls of those who helped them.
Heal the hearts of those who carry the scars of evil,
and awaken our hearts and strengthen us
for the work that we must do today.
to create a world in which evil such as that
will occur no more.
In the words of Elie Weisel, a survivor of Holocaust who dedicated his life to our deeper understanding of its significance,
“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness. Not only are we responsible for the memories of the dead, we are responsible for what we do with those memories.”
Today, we must do a lot with them. Today may we all bear witness.
Auschwitz Memorial Podcast
“The official podcast of the Auschwitz Memorial. The history of Auschwitz is exceptionally complex. It combined two functions: a concentration camp and an extermination center. Nazi Germany persecuted various groups of people there, and the camp complex continually expanded and transformed itself. In the podcast “On Auschwitz,” we discuss the details of the history of the camp as well as our contemporary memory of this important and special place.”
Online lessons: http://lesson.auschwitz.org
From the Auschwitz Memorial, Saturday, January 29th, 2022
29 January 1936 | A French Jewish boy, Michel Ejzenberg, was born in Paris. He arrived at #Auschwitz on 26 August 1942 in a transport of 1,000 Jews deported from Drancy. He was murdered in a gas chamber after selection.
Please follow them on social media. Everyday, they post a photo on the birthday of a prisoner from the concentration camps during WWII. On Twitter: @AuschwitzMuseum
We honor their memory, and remember their promise.
Millions of Americans: ‘COVID?’ 🤷♀️November 25, 2020
Defying warnings, millions in the US travel for Thanksgiving
Millions of Americans took to the skies and the highways ahead of Thanksgiving at the risk of pouring gasoline on the coronavirus fire, disregarding increasingly dire warnings that they stay home and limit their holiday gatherings to members of their own household.
Those who are flying witnessed a distinctly 2020 landscape at the nation’s airports: plexiglass barriers in front of the ID stations, rapid virus testing sites inside terminals, masks in check-in areas and on board planes, and paperwork asking passengers to quarantine on arrival at their destination.
More than 88,000 people in the U.S. — an all-time high — were in the hospital with COVID-19 as of Tuesday, pushing the health care system in many places to the breaking point, and new cases of the virus have been setting records, soaring to an average of over 174,000 per day.
Orlando International Airport
If you are gathering with people outside your household, at the very least:
- Open windows if you can, or sit outdoors.
- Wear masks when you aren’t eating.
- Use separate bathrooms if possible.
- Don’t share towels.
- Use HEPA filters.
- Limit the duration of your visit.
Bruce Springsteen: “Teamed up with some fellow New Jerseyans to encourage everyone this holiday season to wear a friggin’ mask. Let’s all come together and #MaskUpNJ so we can get back to what we do best – singing along and dancing together.”
AP/2018December 21, 2018
The State of the 4th EstateDecember 20, 2018
“The number of journalists killed worldwide in retaliation for their work nearly doubled this year, according to an annual report by the Committee to Protect Journalists.”
- “34 journalists were killed in retaliation for their work, … while at least 53 were killed overall. That compares to 18 retaliation killings among the 47 deaths documented by the committee in 2017.”
- “[J]ournalists have died in combat or crossfire, or on other dangerous assignments. The deadliest country for journalists this year has been Afghanistan, where 13 journalists were killed.”
- “[T]he imprisonment of journalists has [also] been on the rise.”
“Media freedom group Reporters Without Borders said … the U.S. made it into the top five deadliest countries for journalists this year for the first time, with six dying, including four who were among five people killed by a gunman who opened fire in the offices of Maryland newspaper Capital Gazette.”
The Fresno Bee and the War on Local News
Local newspapers like The Fresno Bee have long been an endangered institution in America, and that was before California Rep. Devin Nunes began waging a public campaign against his hometown paper. Zach Baron spent time with the reporters fighting to keep news alive in an age when the forces they cover are working equally hard to destroy them.
“In October, the University of North Carolina’s School of Media and Journalism released a study that estimated that a full 20 percent of all local newspapers have gone out of business or merged since 2004. Since then, an additional 1,300-plus communities in the United States have found themselves without any news source about their own city, town, or county. “Our sense of community and our trust in democracy at all levels suffer when journalism is lost or diminished,” the authors of the report wrote. “In an age of fake news and divisive politics, the fate of communities across the country—and of grassroots democracy itself—is linked to the vitality of local journalism.”
New owners of local news franchises are lest invested in local news: Industry economics have prioritized national news over local.
- A study from Duke University’s DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy earlier this year found that only 17% of news stories in a community are actually local, meaning they’re actually about or having taken place within a municipality.
- And less than half of the news stories (43%) provided to a community by local media outlets are original.
- This is often because holding groups are consolidating resources, forcing local reporters to focus on national stories that reach bigger audiences.
The rise of paywalls means that high quality information will funnel to elites: As the digital advertising landscape continues to evolve, it’s becoming evident that digital ad dollars will continue to flow primarily to tech platforms rather than news publishers.
- Because of this, publishers are setting up paywalls (subscriptions, members, etc.) to survive. And while more Americans say they are willing to pay for news, those with higher levels of education are more likely to do so. In all, 66% of adults with a college degree pay for news, compared to 43% of people with a high school diploma or less.
“There is a growing gap in public knowledge between the information-rich and the information-poor,” says Rodney Benson, chair of NYU’s Department of Media.
- Benson cites other Westernized countries that have less of an information gap because of widely-available publicly-funded broadcast television. Examples include the BBC in the U.K., SVT in Sweden or ZDF/ARD in Germany.
What’s next? The death of local news in rural America is expected to accelerate.
“Increasingly, journalism serves as a powerful force for exclusion, for keeping quality information away from those who need it most, for discouraging anyone but the richest, most educated citizens from participating in the public conversation.”
— Rodney Benson, chair of NYU’s Department of Media Culture & Communication
Anticipation of a Trump Presidency?March 9, 2016
‘Senate backs bill to ease presidential transitions…
The Senate has given final approval to a bill intended to improve presidential transitions.
The bill requires the White House to create a team of officials from different agencies at least six months before Election Day.
That team would develop ways to help smooth the transition from one president to the next.
The bill is heading to President Barack Obama.’
(Seems to have been fairly seamless over the past 229 years.)