By Floralove Katz
Ottawa International Holocaust Remembrance Day Committee
This annual event honours six million Jews – including a million children – murdered during the Holocaust. The United Nations chose January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day in recognition of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp on January 27, 1945. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Rabbi Reuven P. Bulka will act as master of ceremonies and other speakers will include Employment and Social Development and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney; Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau; Mayor Jim Watson; the ambassadors of Germany, Israel, Poland and Turkey; and Salma Siddiqui, president of the Coalition of Progressive Canadian Muslim Organizations.
Cantor Moshe Kraus, a survivor of Bergen-Belsen, will sing “Kel Malei Rachamim” and recite Kaddish and Holocaust survivors will place six flowers in a vase to represent the six million Jewish murder victims.
There has been a resurgence of anti-Semitism and alarming anti-Semitic acts over the past year – witness the murders of four shoppers in a kosher supermarket in Paris just this month – so the theme of Ottawa’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day for 2015, “The Renewed Urgency of Holocaust Education and Eradication of Anti-Semitism,” is both timely and important.
Holocaust remembrance is typically marked with a moment of silence for the six million murdered Jews. Were we to dedicate one moment to each of them, we would have to stand silent for 11 years!
For more information about the International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa, or to RSVP your attendance, contact Fred Litwin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-261-9060.