The Victoria Jewish community marked Yom HaShoah and Holocaust Memorial Day in two seperate ceremonies.
Today, Jews gathered at the Jewish Cemetery to mark Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day).
During the one-hour service, personal stories were read from multiple generations – a Holocaust survivor, community members representing the second generation and third generation, as well as the presence of a fourth generation, representing the future.
“The tragedy of the Holocaust continues to reverberate through the generations and provides relevance for Jews and non-Jews alike in today’s world,” said Frances Aknai, publicity for Yom HaShoah Remembrance and Education Society.
On Thursday – Holocaust Memorial Day – six candles were lit in a ceremony at the B.C. legislature to honour the six million Jewish men, women and children killed by German soldiers between 1933 and 1945.
Multiculturalism Minister Teresa Wat and MLA for Vancouver-Langara Moira Stilwell were joined by representatives from The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, Victoria Holocaust Remembrance and Education Society, and more than 35 Holocaust survivors to remember and honour the victims of the largest act of systematic genocide in history.
“With the passage of time and fewer survivors in our midst, preserving the memories of those who overcame the horrors of the Holocaust has never been more important,” said Yael Levin, manager of Community Relations, The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Pacific Region.
“Today, throughout B.C. and around the world we bear witness to the strength and courage of those who survived and remember those who did not.”
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of prisoners from the Auschwitz concentration camp where at least 1.1 million prisoners were killed. On Jan. 27, 1945, the Soviet army entered Auschwitz and liberated more than 7,000 prisoners.