Town marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day

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Dozens of community members gathered outside Abbot Hall on Jan. 27 to observe International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Rabbi David Meyer of Temple Emanu-El speaks outside Abbot Hall during the town’s first International Holocaust Remembrance Day observance on Jan. 27. COURTESY PHOTOS / JAMES MURPHY

The United Nations designated the day of remembrance in 2005, and it commemorates the systematic mass murder of 6 million Jews and millions of other minorities by the Nazi regime.

“The date recognizes when the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated in 1945,” said Helaine Hazlett, who co-chairs the Marblehead Task Force Against Discrimination.

“It is critical to honor the memory of all those whose lives were lost during the time of these unimaginable, inexplicable murders.”

The candle-lighting ceremony did not transpire as planned, but organizers sent people home with special candles to light in the evening.

“We remember the more than 13 million souls destroyed in the nightmare of the Shoah, the Nazi Holocaust,” Meyer said. “Today, Jews and people of faith all around the world remember how hatred and bigotry come together with modern technology to create a machinery of death that had never been witnessed in human history.”

From Auschwitz and Birkenau to Dachau and Treblinka, Meyer said these names and so many others are forever etched into our consciousness.

The observance happened a couple of weeks after the Marblehead Select Board passed a proclamation officially declaring Jan. 21 International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Marblehead.

Reading from the proclamation, Select Board Chair Moses Grader said, “This anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made confronting the terrible chapter in human history, and on our continuing efforts to end genocide.”

Marblehead Police Chief Dennis King and Helaine Hazlett, co-chair of the Marblehead Taskforce Against Discrimination, share a moment during the International Holocaust Remembrance Day outside Abbot Hall on Jan. 27.

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