“Prejudice & Memory: A Holocaust Exhibit” at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is made up of the photographs, artifacts and memories of people who now live in the Dayton, Ohio, area. Among the contributors are concentration camp survivors and their families, liberators and “righteous Gentiles” (non-Jews who helped Jews during the Holocaust). (U.S. Air Force photo)

Speakers to share personal Holocaust accounts during May 2 event

In observance of the Holocaust Days of Remembrance and to honor the victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution, an educational event will be held at the National Museum of the United States Air Force May 2 from noon to 1 p.m.

Starting in the NMUSAF auditorium, attendees will listen to guest speakers with personal accounts of the Holocaust followed by a guided tour of the Holocaust exhibit. Docents will be available at the exhibit to provide additional information and answer questions.

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Hosted by the Wright-Patterson Special Observance Committee, the event coincides with the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust Days of Remembrance established by Congress and led by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., from April 28 to May 5.

Holocaust, a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire,” was the state-sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945. Jews were the primary victims of violence as 6 million people were murdered. Millions more, including Roma, Gypsies, people with disabilities, Poles, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Soviet prisoners of war and political dissidents, also suffered grievous oppression and death under Nazi Germany.

The Days of Remembrance commemorates this tragic history and to reflect on the lessons it holds events paying tribute to the rescuers who risked their lives to save others during the Holocaust and to the American soldiers who liberated the concentration camps.

“It’s not enough to curse the darkness of the past. We have to illuminate the future,” said Holocaust survivor Estelle Laughlin. “On Days of Remembrance, the most important thing to remember is the humanity that is in all of us to leave the world better for our children and for posterity.”

To learn more about Days of Remembrance, including the national ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda and a map of remembrance events around the country, visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s website at ushmm.org/survivors-victims.

For additional information regarding the Days of Remembrance event on May 2, contact Special Observance Holocaust committee members 2nd Lt. Rebekah Diotte at 937-257-8606 or Chief Master Sgt. Rebecca Arbona at 937-257-8339.

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