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5 ways to honor International Holocaust Remembrance Day in the DMV

From worldwide film screenings to artistic exhibits, this is how local residents are remembering the victims and survivors of the Holocaust on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

rows of candles in the dark
© Pavlo / stock.adobe.com

Seventy-five years ago, millions of Jewish people were liberated from the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, ending the Holocaust and World War II. 

Each year on Jan. 27, in remembrance of the Holocaust (which took place from 1933 to 1945), millions of people across the globe take the time to reflect and honor those affected by the Holocaust. Here in the nation’s capital and its surrounding cities, people will come together this month to do just that through lectures, film screenings and more. Find out how to participate, below. 

Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust
Friday, Jan. 17, 7-8:30 p.m.
Presented by the Italian Cultural Society, this performing words and musical performance, titled Ci Hanno Divisi (translating to, “We have been separated.”) will inspire all this month. To start the evening, journalist Antonella Ciancio will present a series of video interviews and testimonials with survivors. As the commemoration continues, guests will hear an inspiring monologue, as well as music from Italian duo Heartstrings. The entire theatrical affair will be in Italian, with English subtitles and translation. // Georgetown University – Lohrfink Auditorium, Hariri Building: 3700 O St. NW, Washington, DC; $10-$13

 2020 International Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemoration
Friday, Jan. 24, 11 a.m.-noon
On Jan. 24, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is connecting people across the globe through an online commemoration of the six million Jewish victims and millions of other victims of the Holocaust. Through a livestream, the event will include speeches from esteemed individuals of the world, including the Ambassador of Sweden to the U.S., Karin Oloffsdotter, and two Holocaust survivors; a prayer of remembrance; and a musical interlude. While the event will reflect on the past, it will also serve as a lesson to help prevent future genocides. // Event held online; free

Worldwide Screening: Shoah (1985), and Discussion
Monday, Jan. 27, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. & Tuesday, Jan. 28, 6:30 p.m.
In 1985, French director Claude Lanzmann completed 11 years of filmmaking and released the nine and a half-hour documentary Shoah. While it is regarded as a masterpiece in telling the tale of dozens of surviving victims and perpetrators of the Holocaust, the film never truly had a cinematic release. This year, the International Literature Festival of Berlin has called individuals, schools, universities, cultural institutions and more to join a worldwide screening of the documentary on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In the District, the Goethe-Institut and the Edlavitch Jewish Community Center are coming together to give local residents the chance to see the moving life’s work of Lanzmann. On Monday, Jan. 27, the film will start at 10 a.m. and continue through 9:30 p.m., with breaks in between for meals. The next day, all are welcome to return for a post-film discussion at 6:30 p.m. // Goethe-Institut Washington: 1377 R St. NW, Washington, DC; free

Italian Mothers and Daughters: Writings from the Holocaust
Monday, Jan. 27, 6-8 p.m.
In collaboration with the United States Holocaust Museum, the Embassy of Italy is inviting locals to honor and remember Italian mothers and daughters of the Holocaust. While the majority of what women were subjected to during the Holocaust remains unknown, the writings of three Italian survivors—Giuliana Tedeschi, Liana Millu and Edith Bruch—speaks truth to personal experience of the tragic time period. At this special evening event, two experienced historians will explore the writings of these three women. Following the lecture, there will be a theatrical reading of selected excerpts from the three women’s memoirs, accompanied by music performed by the Jewish-Italian musician Simone Baron. Registration is required for this event. // Italian Cultural Institute at Embassy of Italy: 3000 Whitehaven St. NW, Washington, DC; free

Eitanim – Remembrance and Rescue
Wednesday, Jan. 29, 6-9 p.m.
The Israeli American Council Eitanim brings local Jewish-American teens together on a monthly basis to learn, discuss and grow as future leaders of the Jewish community. Here in the DMV, the staff of the Greater Washington branch has put together two artistic exhibits to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, occurring on Wednesday, Jan. 29. The first exhibit, BESA: A Code of Honor-Muslim Albanians Who Rescued Jews During the Holocaust, consists of portraits and texts about two groups of individuals from opposed worlds coming together. The second, titled IsraAID: Stories of Courage and Resilience, features photographs and stories documenting rescue efforts by Israel for world communities affected by natural disasters. Students and parents of Eitanim, as well as members of the public, are all welcome to explore the remarkable tales of the past. // Bender JCC of Greater Washington: 6125 Montrose Road, Rockville, Maryland; free

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