Katelyn Chostner, Editor-in-Chief
Jan. 27 marked the 74th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and is referred to as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. People all around the world banded together to remember those who lost their lives in the Holocaust.
To commemorate, many people listened to the request of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and joined the conversation on social media. They used #WeRemember and #USHMM which ultimately trended on Twitter that Monday.
These people tweeted out stories of family members who survived the Holocaust and quotes from famous Holocaust victims, such as Anne Frank.
One Twitter user said, “Today is the 74th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the camp that killed my grandma’s entire family, except her. She survived 4 brutal years (14-18) and is my last living grandparent (92). In her honor, spread love today.”
The number of people who perished during the Holocaust is countless. Over 6 million Jews had been murdered and millions of other groups were affected. Some of the other groups who were killed are Roma, Soviet Civilians, Polish civilians, people with disabilities, homosexuals and Serb civilians.
Auschwitz-Birkenau was a camp that produced the highest loss of Jewish life. Over 1 million Jews were senselessly murdered here, and it made the camp infamous.
There are large amounts of people who keep the memories and experiences of Holocaust victims and survivors alive. One of them is Bob Gummers, a second-generation Holocaust survivor.
Gummers was invited to the University of Missouri–St. Louis Jan. 28 by the Chancellor’s Diversity Counsel, Gender Studies, and the College of Business. He spoke with students, staff and faculty about what his family went through before, during and after the Holocaust.
Before he dived into his family’s history, Gummers began by saying, “The Holocaust could happen in the U.S. Always be prepared.”
He talked about the lives of his family and their story reflected so many others’ who survived the Holocaust.
When word first came around in 1933 his aunt Ruth moved to the U.S. Gummers’ family mostly stayed in Europe and experienced firsthand the effects of the Holocaust.
His grandfather and uncle both were present during Kristallnacht and were arrested. His grandfather was sent to Dachau, a German concentration camp, and was later released because he was over the age of 60. His uncle was herded onto a ship too small for the amount of people. Eventually, all of the Jewish men were instructed to leave the ship and go to Atlit, a detention camp.
Later, in 1939, his grandfather finally listened to his grandmother and immigrated to the U.S. with help of their daughter Ruth, Gummers’ aunt, who had left Germany in 1933 after the first signs of what was to come. Their son, Gummers’ uncle, immigrated to Palestine and saw his mother once before she passed and the last time he saw his father was right before they immigrated to the U.S.
The Holocaust was a devastating genocide that ripped families apart. Gummer is one of many who are reminding people what can happen, while also keeping the memory of his family alive.