The U.S. Congress established Days of Remembrance as the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust and created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a permanent living memorial to the victims. This year, Holocaust Remembrance week is May 1 through May 8, 2011. The Museum designated “Justice and Accountability in the Face of Genocide: What Have We Learned?” as the theme for the 2011 observance. In accordance with its congressional mandate, the Museum is responsible for leading the nation in commemorating Days of Remembrance and for encouraging appropriate observances throughout the United States. The United States Holaucaust Museum: http://www.ushmm.org/
What is the Holocaust? Who are we remembering?
The Holocaust was the state-sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi
Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945. Jews were the primary victims—six million were murdered; Roma (Gypsies), people with disabilities, and Poles were also targeted for destruction or decimation for racial, ethnic, or national reasons. Millions more, including homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Soviet prisoners of war,and political dissidents, also suffered grievous oppression and death under Nazi Germany.
Why is Days of Remembrance observed in the United States?
In 1980, Congress unanimously passed legislation to establish the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, which oversees the Museum. The Council, which succeeded the President’s Commission on the Holocaust, was charged with carrying out the following recommendations:
• That a living memorial be established to honor the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and to ensure that the lessons of the Holocaust will be taught in perpetuity
• That an educational foundation be established to stimulate and support research in the teaching of the Holocaust.
• That a Committee on Conscience be established that would collect information on and alert the national
conscience regarding reports of actual or potential outbreaks of genocide throughout the world.
• That a national day of remembrance of victims of the Holocaust be established in perpetuity and be held annually.
The Days of Remmberance 2011 Theme: What Have We Learned? http://www.ushmm.org/remembrance/dor/years/detail.php?content=2011&lang=