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☞   Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27)

This is an archive of prayers composed for, or relevant to, International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is an international memorial day on 27 January, the day of the liberation of the Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp. The day commemorates the unfathomable horror of the Nazi regime and its collaborators that resulted in the deaths of approximately seventeen million people including the genocide of six million Jews and a quarter million or more Roma. The Nazi atrocities include the killing of nine million Russians (including prisoners of war), 1.8 million Poles, over three-hundred thousands Serbs, a quarter million or more disabled persons, an undetermined number of political prisoners including seventy-thousand so-called asocials (LGBT persons), and nearly two thousand Jehova’s Witnesses.

The day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/7 on 1 November 2005 during the 42nd plenary session. The resolution came after a special session was held earlier that year on 24 January 2005 during which the United Nations General Assembly marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and the end of the Holocaust. See here, for other Holocaust Memorial Days.

If you have composed a prayer or prayer-poem for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, please share it here.


Looking for something else?

For prayers composed for the Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust in the United States, please visit here.

For prayers composed for Yom haShoah in the State of Israel (27 Nissan), please visit here.

For public readings selected for Holocaust & Genocide Memorial Days, go here.

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives: Rabbi Romi Cohn on 29 January 2020

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. House of Representatives on 29 January 2020. . . .

קִינָה עַל חֻרְבָּן הָאַחֲרוֹן | Lamentation on the Holocaust, by Shimon Zuker (1980)

A kinnah composed by a concentration camp survivor. . . .

‏אֵל מָלֵא רַחֲמִים תְפִילָה לַנִּסְפִּים בַּשּׁוֹאָה | El Malé Raḥamim Prayer for the Victims of the Shoah, by Rabbi Yehoyada Amir

God, full of compassion, who dwells in the heights, provide a fitting rest upon the wings of the Shekhina, within the ascents of the holy and the pure, who shine like the starry heaven for our six million sisters and brothers who lost their lives in the Shoah: that were killed and slaughtered, suffocated and buried alive, burned and tortured — the young and the elderly, women and men, leaders and simpletons, those faithful in Torah along with rebels and dreamers. Beloved and pleasant in life, and not separated from that love even after death. . . .

סֵדֶר לְיוֹם הַשׁוֹאָה | Seder for Yom haSho’ah, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

The most traumatic event in recent Jewish history is the Holocaust. At this time, the survivors of the camps are aging, and in the lifespan of people alive today it is likely that the last survivor will die. We say we must never forget what happened during the Holocaust, but if we think of it as a tragedy that happened to our ancestors we will forget. But it has been 3000 years since the Exodus from Egypt, and the Haggadah keeps its history vivid and alive. We are taught that in each and every generation we are to think of ourselves as having been slaves in Egypt. May it be that just as we never forgot the wonders of the Exodus, so too we never forget the horrors of the Holocaust, and continue to strive that such horrors may never happen again until all live in freedom and peace. . . .