News | April 4, 2022

Resiliency, The Strength of a People...Never Forget: Celebrating European American Month and Holocaust Remembrance Day

By Deanna Blesch EAP Executive Champion

April is the month we set aside time to recognize European Americans, specifically those European Jews murdered or marginalized by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. This year’s theme is “Resiliency, The Strength of a People…Never Forget.”  The Holocaust was a genocide that refers specifically to the attempted annihilation of European Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators. Annual remembrances ensure we never forget.

“Evil on a grand scale can and does happen in our world – and…we have a responsibility to do everything we can to stop it,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “That’s why it’s so important that we speak the truth about the past, to protect the facts when others try to distort or trivialize Holocaust crimes, and to seek justice for the survivors and their families.”

International Holocaust Remembrance Day was designated by the United Nations to mark the anniversary of the January 27, 1945 liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest camp created by Nazi Germany and its collaborators to imprison and murder people they perceived as a "racial" or political threat, especially European Jews. This international memorial day is an occasion to honor the more than 6 million Jews who died during the Holocaust.

In the United States, the Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust is an annual commemoration designated by the U.S. Congress to mark the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in 1943. In 2022, Holocaust Days of Remembrance will be observed April 28. 

We invite and encourage the Defense Federal Community to join the European American Special Emphasis Program group in activities that both refresh our memories of the Holocaust tragedy and highlight the resiliency of the Europeans Jews.

Throughout the month of April, check out our websites at DLA Today and www.dla.mil or the Connections Newsletter as we provide a series of reviews tied to the Holocaust:

  • “Night,” by Elie Wiesel, is a written account of a young Jewish boy’s quest to survive the Holocaust, as he overcomes a period of darkness to see light again. The book summarizes the horror of the young Jewish kid, a witness to the death of his family and friends, innocence and holiness.
  • “Schindler’s List,” a 1993 film highlighting Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist who saved more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories during World War II.
  • “X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II,” by Leah Garrett, documents a commando unit made up of intellectuals, artists, and athletes, most from Germany and Austria. Having lost their families and homes, these Jewish refugees will stop at nothing to defeat the Nazis. This top secret suicide squad trained in counterintelligence and advanced combat became known as X Troop.

We also encourage you to visit The Ohio Holocaust and Liberators Memorial at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. This moving memorial speaks for the millions of voices the Holocaust silenced and thanks the brave men and women of Ohio who liberated the oppressed and fought for human freedom during the Second World War.

If you would like to share your thoughts on these books and films, a visit to the Ohio Statehouse Holocaust and Liberators Memorial, or any other Holocaust related content, we welcome you to send those to Alan Shatz, EAP SEP committee chair at alan.shatz@dla.mil.  The European American SEP is always looking for new members, and is currently seeking to fill the Coordinator role.  If you’re interested, contact Alan Shatz for meeting dates and times.