On January 27, 1945 the Soviet army liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp. And in 2005 the United Nations General Assembly dedicated January 27 forevermore as International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK). This commemoration not only marks when prisoners who survived Auschwitz were freed, but also stands as an essential reminder to the world that such cruelty and suffering must never be forgotten.
Every year the UN chooses a theme which serves as a prompt for Holocaust scholarship and deeper understanding. This year’s theme is “Home and Belonging.”
Facing History has curated an array of resources that offer many ways to reflect on the Holocaust. For teachers, students, and anyone interested in engaging around this anniversary, these words from the UN can help center your Holocaust remembrance and education:
“Focusing on the humanity of the victims prompts us to remember our humanity, and our responsibility to combat hate speech, combat antisemitism, and prejudice—to do all we can to prevent genocide.”
Collection: Teaching with Testimony
Survivor testimony is a powerful way to emotionally engage students and deepen their learning. This collection introduces students to personal accounts of the Holocaust, told by survivors, rescuers, and witnesses with an accompanying lesson plan.
Mini-Lesson: Holocaust Trivialization and Distortion: What Are the Implications of Comparing Current Events to the Holocaust?
Prompt students to reflect on contemporary examples of Holocaust trivialization.
Professional Learning: Holocaust Memorial Day: Remembering Resistance and Courage
Gain ideas and inspiration for how to mark Holocaust Memorial Day in your classroom.
Reading: Remembering the Names
Learn about German artist Gunter Demnig and his work installing plaques that honor Holocaust victims across Europe.
Lesson: Analyzing and Creating Memorials
Engage students in the processes of both responding to and creating memorials to the Holocaust. By doing so, they grapple with key questions about why history is important and how our memory of history is shaped and influenced.
Guide: Illuminations: The Art of Samuel Bak
This guide provides those viewing paintings by Holocaust survivor Samuel Bak with a framework for analyzing the art's profound symbolism about memory, justice, and identity.