BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — It’s been nearly 77 years since the Holocaust ended. Today, people from across the globe took the day to mourn victims on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Rabbi Peretz Kazen of Baton Rouge shared how his family was personally affected.
“As someone who carries the name of someone who perished during the Holocaust, from the Holocaust, it’s always a day of tremendous meaning and it’s a time to really think about,” said Kazen. “What are we doing to fill the shoes of those who were lost?”
Six million Jews lost their lives in the Nazi genocide, but Kazen wants people to remember the other five million people that were killed.
“Misconceptions about the Holocaust include that it was only six million Jews that were killed, there were many, many more from other faiths, from other nationalities,” Kazen said. “And that’s something to which a lot of people can be more personal.”
There are many ways to learn more about the Holocaust, one of which is the World War II Museum in New Orleans. But Kazen said it’s not too late to learn about it from someone with first-hand knowledge.
“Seeking out local people in your community here in Baton Rouge, we have some but it’s a dwindling population of people who actually lived through those, either the atrocities or the liberation,” said Kazen.
Kazen says the best way to honor those who lost their lives is to give back to the community.
“And doing so in memory of the hands that cannot give it now, doing so in the memory of the people that cannot earn the money to do so now, is always something in which is very meaningful,” Kazen said.
Remembering what happened is not only to honor those we lost, according to Kazen, but it’s about protecting future generations.
“It’s really what remembrance has to be about, it’s not only about the unforgettable atrocities of the past but it’s also preventing it from ever happening again, God forbid,” said Kazen. “To combat the atrocity and negativity and hate on that level, we really need to have an unconditional love for other people, so teaching people to love unconditionally and not judge others and care for someone else is really a way we can encourage and make sure that in future times such a thing can never repeat itself.”
Anyone interested in giving back can visit chabadbr.com.