By Megan Helberg, Nebraska (MTF 2016)
& Scott Auspelmyer, South Carolina, (MTF 2015)
In 1979, the United States Congress established the Days of Remembrance (DOR) as the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust. Each year state and local governments, military bases, workplaces, schools, religious organizations, and civic centers host observances and remembrance activities for their communities. These events take place between April and early May during the Week of Remembrance, which runs from the Sunday before Yom Ha-Shoah, Israel’s annual Holocaust Remembrance Day, through the following Sunday. The U.S. Days of Remembrance correspond to Yom Ha-Shoah. More information about the history of DOR can be found here.
Holocaust educators around the globe will be taking part in the Days of Remembrance, which will be April 22-30 this year. As Museum Teacher Fellows, it is important to keep the memory of the events of the Holocaust at the forefront of your mission as teachers and to also utilize what you know about the past to help illuminate the future. The Museum has several resources readily available online for educators wanting to learn more about DOR.
A call has been put out to MTFs to let the Museum know if you are planning a DOR ceremony or event in your school or community. A national map of events is available on the Museum’s website so MTFs can easily add events to the map. To see what’s happening in your area and/or add your own event, please go here.
Each year the Museum holds a Days of Remembrance ceremony at the U.S. Capitol that is accessible to all via live streaming. This year the event at the Capitol will be held on Monday, April 24th. A link to the live stream will be provided closer to the event date (look for this to be announced on the USHMM Teacher Fellows Facebook page & if you’re not already a member, please contact Kristin Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the group’s FB page.)
Names Reading at the Museum’s Hall of Remembrance also occurs during DOR and is a powerful reminder of those killed during the Holocaust. For more information about the Names Reading, please go here.
An eight-minute video about the importance of remembering, that could be shared with your students, can be found here.
Are you wanting to plan an event for your school but need guidance and resources The Museum is here to help you. Use this link to find a plethora of ideas and information.
Or, better yet, check out how one of your fellow MTFs commemorated the Days of Remembrance: Rosa Lamb (MTF 2015), from Illinois, shared her event:
“In 2015, over 200 students at Lake View High School combined in a joint effort to create a Holocaust Remembrance Day Assembly for our school and local community. Global Studies, English, Photography, and Advanced Choir classes were invited to attend the Chicago debut of the opera, The Passenger, the story of Auschwitz survivor, Zofia Posmysz. Her experience served as the background of our assembly with each class having a part in the assembly. Every aspect of the assembly was completely student-led. My Global Studies classes focused on the history and facts about the timeline, resistance, stories of survivors, camps, etc. The English class created original poems inspired by stories of survival and hope. The photography class created original images, also inspired by stories of hope and survival, and the Advanced Choir class created an original piece of music, using musical notes associated with Zofia’s number tattooed on her arm. The students created a program brochure and modeled it after the ID cards given out to visitors at the Museum. The students served as the organizers, as well as the emcees, of the event. A highlight for many was the opportunity to meet Zofia who flew from Poland to attend the opening of the opera in Chicago. In all, over 400 students attended the Days of Remembrance assembly, as well as members of the Anti Defamation League and the Illinois Holocaust Museum.”