“I have come to Yad Vashem to pay homage to the millions of Jewish people who, stripped of everything, especially of their human dignity, were murdered in the Holocaust. More than half a century has passed, but the memories remain. Here, as at Auschwitz and many other places in Europe, we are overcome by the echo of the heart-rending laments of so many. Men, women and children cry out to us from the depths of the horror that they knew. How can we fail to heed their cry? No one can forget or ignore what happened. No one can diminish its scale. We wish to remember. But
we wish to remember for a purpose, namely to ensure that never again will evil prevail, as it did for the millions of innocent victims of Nazism.”
-- Pope John Paul II at Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem, 2000
2015 Day of Remembrance for Victims of the Holocaust
Wednesday, May 4, 2016. 7:00-8:00pm.
Grout Museum, Waterloo
UNI Holocaust and Genocide Education Program
Sons of Jacob Synagogue, Waterloo
Cedar Valley Interfaith Council
The Catholic Parishes in Waterloo
Yom HaShoah is a day set aside for Jews to remember the Holocaust. The name comes from the Hebrew word “shoah”, which means “whirlwind”.
Six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust. Other holocaust victims included Slavs, Gypsies, homosexuals, disabled people, anyone of African descent, Christian pastors and Catholic priests, Jehovah's Witnesses, Russian prisoners of war, trade unionists and other individuals who, for whatever reason, were considered racially inferior or "degenerates."
It is believed that a total of 15 million people died. Up to 1.5 million children were among the victims, the vast majority of them Jewish. Disabled children and the children of Roma Gypsies were also murdered by the Nazi regime.
Yom HaShoah was established in Israel in 1959 by law. It falls on the 27th of the Jewish month of Nissan, a date chosen because it is the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
Yom HaShoah ceremonies include lighting candles for Holocaust victims and listening to the stories of survivors. Religious ceremonies include prayers such as Kaddish for the dead and the El Maleh Rahamim, a memorial prayer.
In Israel Yom HaShoah is one of the most solemn days of the year. It begins at sunset on 26th Nissan and ends the following evening. During Yom HaShoah memorial events are held throughout the country, with national ceremonies being held at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. (Yad Vashem is the Jewish people’s memorial to the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust.)
On the morning of Yom HaShoah a siren is sounded for two minutes throughout Israel and all work and other activity stops while people remember those killed in the Holocaust.
In the United States, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum establishes a theme and coordinates planning each year for the annual “Day of Remembrance” which coincides with Yom HaShoah.
(Courtesy of BBC)
Glorified and sanctified be God's great name throughout the world
which He has created according to His will.
May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days,
and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon;
and say, Amen.
May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.
Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored,
adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He,
beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that
are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.
May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us and for all
Israel; and say, Amen.
He who creates peace in His celestial heights, may He create peace
for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.
First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out
because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
-- Written by Martin Niemoeller, a pastor in the German Confessing Church, who spent eight and a half years in a Nazi death camp.
Information About the Holocaust and Stories from Holocaust Survivors
Holocaust Encyclopedia/U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
More Survivors' Stories
Children of the Holocaust
Bill Moyer's Interview with Elie Wiesel
Catechism of the Catholic Church, #597, 839
Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions
[Nostra Aetate] (Second Vatican Council, 1965)
We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah (Commission for Religious
Relations with the Jews, 1998)
The Jewish People and Their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible
(Pontifical Biblical Commission, 2002)
Catholic Teaching on the Shoah (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops 2001)
God's Mercy Endures Forever--Guidelines on the Presentation of Jews and
Judaism in Catholic Preaching (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1988)
Pope Francis' Address to the American Jewish Institute 2014
Pope Francis' Address to a Jewish Delegation from Rome 2013
Joint Statement of the Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee 2013
Statement of the International Catholic-Jewish Committee, 2011
Pope Benedict's New Year Message to Rome's Jewish Community, 2010
Statement of the Bilateral Catholic-Jewish Commission, 2010
Pope Benedict's Address at the Synagogue in Rome, 2010
Pope Benedict's Address to Representatives of the Conference of
Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, 2009
Pope Benedict's Statement to the Jewish Community in Washington, 2008
Pope Benedict's Statement at Auschwitz-Birkenau, 2006.
Pope John Paul II's statement on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz- Birkenau. 2005.
Pope John Paul II's Statement at Yad Veshem Museum, Jerusalem, 2000.
Pope John Paul II's homily at Auschwitz-Birkenau, 1979.
Articles (arranged chronologically)
Pope's Visit Marks Half-Century of Progress. Rabbi David Sandmel. (U.S. Catholic, 06.14)
How John XXIII Changed Catholic-Jewish Relations. Thomas L. McDonald
(Catholic World Report. 04.14)
Popes John and John Paul--Saints for the Jews. Rabbi Noam Marans.
Impact of Popes John and John Paul on Catholic-Jewish Relations. Rabbi
Jonathan Romain. (The Tablet 04.14)
Standing With Jews This Yom Kippur. Thomas Rossica. (Zenit. 09.14)
Why Jews Are Not Our Enemies. John Lamont. (Homiletics & Pastoral
Pope Francis Praises Jewish-Catholic Dialogue. Elise Harris (Catholic News
Pope Francis is Breaking New Ground in Jewish-Catholic Relations. Peter
Jesserer Smith (National Catholic Register. 11.13)
Jewish Council Says Relations Have Never Been So Good. (Zenit. 09.13)
How Vatican II Sparked an Evolution in Jewish-Catholic Relations. Jerome
Chanes. (Jewish Forward. 06.13)
Catholic-Jewish Relations Under Pope Benedict XVI. (U.S. Conference of
Catholic Bishops. 03.13)
How Far We've Come--How Far to Go. Phillip Cunningham (Religion News
The Origin and Challenge of Nostra Aetatae. Isabel Smyth. (Thinking Faith. 10.10)
Current State of Vatican-Israeli Relations. Fr. David Yaeger. (Zenit. 01.10)
Where Dialogue with the Jews is Headed. (Zenit. 03.08)
Jews Continue Dialogue with the Church. (Zenit. 02.08)
Holy See Considers Holocaust an 'Immense Tragedy.' (Zenit. 12.06)
Anti-Semitism--A Wound to Be Healed. Cardinal Walter Kasper (Commission
for Religious Relations with the Jews, 2001)
Good and Evil After Auschwitz in Papal Teaching. Remi Hoeckman OP.
(Sidic #2. 1998)
"The Hand of Peace"--Pope Piux XII and the Jews (Salt & Light Television)
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