Holocaust Museum LA Marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, as designated by the United Nations. It marks the tragedy of the Holocaust and the day in 1945 that Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated. This year, it also comes at a time of rising antisemitism both nationally and internationally. 

According to the Anti-Defamation League, incidents of antisemitism have soared since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack. Social media metrics continue to reveal alarming rates of antisemitic sentiment. And a recent poll from The Economist/YouGov found that 1 in 5 young people in this country between the ages of 18 and 29 believe the Holocaust is a myth. 

For this reason, Holocaust Museum LA CEO Beth Kean told the Courier, the day has even more significance. 

“As we commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we are reminded of the importance of Holocaust history,” Kean said. “The Holocaust shows us where unchecked hate rhetoric against Jews can and will lead. When Holocaust distortion and antisemitism are not called out directly and confronted head on, antisemitism will only continue to grow.”


Student-learning activities at the Museum
Photos by Benny Chan

Kean emphasized the power of education as a change agent in the struggle against misinformation and hate. Accordingly, student programs at the Museum and other institutions have an especially important role to play at this time.

“Over 99% of the students who visit the Museum identify as non-Jewish and we see first-hand the power of cross-cultural conversations and learning,” Kean said. “Our goal is to provide students and all visitors and attendees of public programs with the information they need to call out and stand up to hate.”

Public programming to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day will take place at Holocaust Museum LA on Jan. 28. At 3 p.m., the Museum will screen “Return to Auschwitz:  The Survival of Vladimir Munk,” an award-winning film documenting Czech Holocaust survivor Vladimir Munk’s return to Auschwitz in 2020 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the camp.  Documentary co-author Julie Canepa will discuss the film after the screening. 

Munk was a biology professor at SUNY Plattsburgh, who passed away last fall at the age of 98. Canepa met Munk while working on an article series for a community newspaper in New York. She later accompanied Munk to Auschwitz and authored the novel “The Missing Star” based on the love story of Munk and his wife. More information about events at Holocaust Museum LA is contained in the Calendar section on pg. 2.