International Holocaust Remembrance Day

For the Victims of Genocide

Theresienstadt concentration camp archway

The Theresienstadt concentration camp archway. From Wikipedia.

Almighty God, gracious Father: we remember before thee this day all those who have perished in genocides, especially those who died in the Shoah. Vouchsafe, we beseech thee, to sear into our memories the story of their peril, lest we forget their anguish and tribulations. Embolden us with thy Holy Ghost to confront those who would repeat such acts, whether brazenly or cunningly; open our mouths to speak for those in peril, lest they perish unheralded as did their predecessors; grant us to stand with the persecuted, and to protect them from their oppressors, that all thy people may dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. Grant this for thine only Son Jesus Christ’s sake, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

This date marks the liberation in 1945 of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp, by Soviet troops. UN Resolution 60/7 established this day as a memorial in 2005. The day commemorates the genocide that resulted in the death of an estimated 6 million Jewish people, 2 million Romani people, 250,000 mentally and physically disabled people, and 9,000 homosexual men by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.

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