Yesterday was the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. It is also the date in 1945 when Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland. Every January 27 since 2006, the United Nations remembers the Holocaust and calls on its members to offer educational programs about the Holocaust to help prevent future genocides.

Israel (Izzy) Arbeiter, chair of the JF&CS Schechter Holocaust Services Advisory Committee, is one of the 100 former camp prisoners from all over the world who was an honored guest at yesterday’s commemoration. The commemoration was held in a tent set up in front of the Death Gate of the former Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp. As Izzy said, “January 27 marks the closing of the slaughterhouses of the Jewish people.” Izzy is attending as one of the representatives of the estimated 140,000 victims of Nazi persecution living in the United States.

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