Ceremonies and Educational Activities for Holocaust Commemoration


Source: Yad Vashem 


On the online educational center for ceremonies and activities of the International School for Holocaust Studies, you will find a variety of ceremonies and educational activities that commemorate two dates: The Holocaust Heroes' and Martyrs' Remembrance Day (Israel), and January 27th, International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The ceremonies and educational activities are age appropriate and offer a wide range of topics related to teaching and learning about the Holocaust. They also include texts, testimonies, diary entries, poetry, and prayers.


Among the ceremonies on the site:

The Image of Humanity in the Shadow of Death

This resource is designed to highlight responses of Jewish people trapped in the inhuman conditions within ghettos that had been created by Nazi Germany. Based on diaries and survivor testimonies, the voices of Jews who attempted to maintain their humanity in the face of unprecedented inhumanity will be highlighted. Many Jewish people in ghettos proved that the human spirit cannot be broken despite the most insurmountable circumstances.


"Shattered and Broken"

The November 1938 pogrom (Kristallnacht) proved to be a precursor to the destruction of European Jewry during the Holocaust. In addition to the adults, Jewish children lost their feeling of security and in many ways, lost their childhoods. This ceremony focuses on the stories of Jewish children in Germany during this difficult period, when their lives would be changed forever.


Witnesses and Testimony

The eye-witness testimonies of survivors, often delivered with great anguish after years of self-imposed silence, serve as vital human documents while forming a personal bond between generations. This ceremony allows students to commemorate the experiences of two Holocaust survivors and their families.


Remembering Liberation

Towards the end of World War II, advancing Allied forces from east and west began discovering first-hand the horrendous scope of Nazi atrocities - hundreds of concentration and extermination camps in which prisoners had been abused in every way imaginable. For those Jews still alive in these camps, liberation meant the end of a deadly, repressive, and nominal existence. However, for most prisoners, real celebration was impossible. Too much of their world, their friends and their loved ones had been destroyed.
This ceremony focuses on the complexities of liberation: the shock of the Allied troops at what they saw, and the intermingled joy and deep grief of the rescued survivors.


"Dear Diary, I Don't Want to Die"

One-and-a-half million Jewish children were murdered in the Holocaust, most of them with no one to perpetuate their memory or even their name. This ceremony focuses on the life of these children. It combines excerpts from the diaries of three children with poems and memoirs to create one representative story.


Women in Auschwitz

This ceremony explores the female experience at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Camp as expressed by women who were inmates there in 1944.


Auschwitz: The Final Stop

This ceremony focuses on the stories of three children. The use of their diaries and memoirs gives us a glimpse into their lives and personalities before the Holocaust, during the Holocaust and up to their deportation to Auschwitz or to their liberation

Updated: Feb. 22, 2011