Today, many people in the United States and around the world will observe Yom Hashoah, also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day. It commemorates the lives and heroism of those who died in the Holocaust between 1933 and 1945 as a result of racial and ethnic cleansing throughout German-controlled Europe during World War II. Observance reminds the public of the terrible deeds than can be carried out when bigotry, hatred and indifference are regarded as normal.
Typical activities include lighting memorial candles and reciting the Kaddish, which is a prayer for the departed. Educational programs about the historical events associated with Yom Hashoah are shown around this time of the year, particularly to students learning about Jewish history. These programs may include a documentary featuring Holocaust survivors’ stories, as well as a Holocaust-themed film.