Every year, I write a blog for SHRM on Holocaust Remembrance. Below, is this year’s post.
Today, April 24, 2017, is Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) .
During the Holocaust, more than 11 million human beings were systemically murdered. Plus, millions more died in battle. That includes our brave military forces that sacrificed their lives to save the lives of others.
Of course, every life is a universe. Every loss of innocent life matters equally.
But, the Holocaust had a disproportionate effect on the Jewish community. Six out of nine million European Jews were murdered—the percentage is staggering.
I acknowledge this is personal to me. Most of my family was killed in the Holocaust and that forever informs my worldview.
Those who were saved also informs my worldview. My cousin’s mom was saved by a Catholic Church at great risk to those who were part of its community.
YomHaShoah is a painful reminder for many of us and that pain does not remain at home. HR can help.
One way to do so is simply to post on your Intranet a remembrance statement. You can find words and images all over the Internet.
This is also an ideal topic for a diversity and inclusion program. We can focus on the Holocaust but conclude with a universal message: We cannot tolerate intolerance against any faith, race, ethnicity, etc.
Invite a survivor to speak. Bear witness to someone who did.
There are many ways that HR can remember. I respectfully request that you find a way to do something.
I close by citing Elie Wiesel:
“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness. Not only are we responsible for the memories of the dead, we are responsible for what we do with those memories.”