Congress established the Days of Remembrance as the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust and created the Holocaust Museum as a permanent living memorial to the victims.
The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of roughly six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.
The Nazis came into power in Germany in early 1933, believing Germans were racially superior and that Jews were inferior and a threat to the German racial community.
The Nazis also targeted Gypsies, the disabled, some Slavic peoples, communists, socialists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and homosexuals.
Jews were the regime’s primary targets, although the Nazis also killed some 200,000 Gypsies and at least 200,000 mentally or physically disabled people.
The Nazis’ homicidal reign, when factoring in all groups persecuted, claimed an estimated 11 million and 17 million victims — not counting those killed in the world war.
The Jewish victims were killed in concentration camps, through shootings, medical experiments and in a variety of other ways as the Nazis carried out the “Final Solution.”
“When we face an atrocity such as the Holocaust, we come to a point where words fail us,” said Temple Beth Israel Rabbi Emma Gottlieb.