I had never heard of Holocaust Memorial Day until I read about it at the Afro-Europe blog. It is held internationally on the 27th January each year and commemorates the genocides of World War II, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur. This date was chosen as it is the anniversary of the day in 1945 on which the Soviet Army liberated the largest Nazi concentration camp: Auschwitz-Birkenau. Click on the banner above to be taken to it’s website for more information, resources and to light a virtual candle for the Legacy of Hope… I was the 19183rd person to light a candle.

A couple days ago I watched a film, Sometimes in April, starring Idris Elba (aka Stringer Bell in “The Wire”), about the Rwandan genocide. It was quite powerful and hard-hitting… a much more personal story than Hotel Rwanda. Afro-Europe also featured a story about Anton de Kom, a Surinamese/Dutch freedom fighter and human rights activist, who died in a concentration camp in Germany. Read it here and also watch the short documentary about his life… it’s very interesting and informative, especially since Black History Month begins next week.  

“There is so much to be done, there is so much that can be done. One person, a Raoul Wallenberg, an Albert Schweitzer, a Martin Luther King, Jr., one person of integrity, can make a difference, a difference of life and death. As long as one dissident is in prison, our freedom will not be true. As long as one child is hungry, our life will be filled with anguish and shame. What all these victims need above all is to know that they are not alone, that we are not forgetting them, that when their voices are stifled we shall lend them ours, that while their freedom depends on ours, the quality of our freedom depends on theirs.” Elie Wiesel