Holocaust Day


Holocaust Day, Auschwitz Day, Dachau Day

***** Location: Germany, worldwide
***** Season: Late Winter, January 27
***** Category: Observance


The German poet Angelika Wienert used for the first time the kigo "Holocaust Day" .

Both of us have posted our haiku to Asahi and David McMurray published them at Febuary 9th 2004.

The people in Germany (and in other European countries) think at the “Holocaust Day” of the liberation of Auschwitz and the Shoa and all victims of the National Socialism.

Gerd Boerner

I invite those of us for whom the phrase Holocaust Day is not yet set in stone to consider using the Hebrew name, Yom HaShoah ("Day of Desolation"), as an alternate, if not more correct, appropriate, phrase. (A holocaust = a burnt offering as a sacrificial ritual.)


This is a controversial kigo. Dachau Day, Auschwitz Day also come up, especially in 2005, 60 years later.

Here are some links for discussion.


Curtesy to Reuters
World Remembers Holocaust at Snow-Swept Auschwitz
January 2005

By Sabina Zawadzki and Wojciech Zurawski

OSWIECIM, Poland (Reuters) -
Dusted by falling snow and surrounded by barbed wire, world leaders mourned the victims of the Holocaust on Thursday, the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the biggest Nazi death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Vowing that the World War II atrocity must never be forgotten, the leaders and survivors lit candles in the ruins of the camp, which claimed a fifth of the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust.

"I was here naked as a young girl. I was 16. I am Israeli, I have a country, I have a flag. I have a president," Merka Shevach, who had not been scheduled to speak, told the ceremony.
Up to 1.5 million people died in the gas chambers and crematoria of Auschwitz-Birkenau, set up by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland as its most efficient killing machine in the "Final Solution," the genocide of European Jews.

CLICK for more photos

Auschwitz was liberated on Jan. 27, 1945, by the advancing Soviet army whose stunned soldiers released 7,000 emaciated prisoners left behind as the Germans withdrew.

"The snow was falling like today, we were dressed in stripes and some of us had bare feet," Polish survivor Kazimierz Orlowski, 84, said.
In the commemoration ceremonies, candles burned along the snow-covered tracks used during the war to take Jews and others in cattle trains to the camp.

A whistle, the sound of a stopping train and a door being flung open were played in Birkenau, the camp's main extermination center, to symbolize the arrival of the victims.
Most were gassed to death on arrival. Those selected for slave labor were stripped and shaved, an identity number tattooed on their arms.

As darkness approached and snow kept falling, world leaders, survivors and European royalty lit candles at a monument to the victims. Symbolic flames burned in the background.
Huge searchlights lit up the gray sky behind the monument. Some of the 5,000 participants lit candles of remembrance. Continued ...

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

Photo above
Candles placed at the Gleis 17 (platform 17)
holocaust memorial at a former cargo railway station in Berlin-Grunewald on January 27, 2005. From October 1941 to February 1945, more than 50,000 Berlin Jews were loaded into trains on Gleis 17 and transported to the Nazi concentration camps, such as Auschwitz.
Photo by Michael Dalder/Reuters


Why have a National Holocaust day?
By Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks / BBC News January 25, 2000

The proposal for a National Holocaust Day has met with mixed reactions. It should not have done. It is a brave idea that has been misunderstood.
The Holocaust was a defining event in history. There were other chapters of Jewish tragedy. Nor have Jews been the only victims of hate.
There have been, before and since, other attempted genocides. Over the last hundred years, human blood has been shed on a horrendous scale.
Read on:


Europe marks Holocaust Day
January 27, 2001 CNN News OSWIECIM, Poland
Survivors of Auschwitz have gone on a poignant march past the gas chambers which claimed their fellow prisoners as Europe marked Holocaust memorial day.

Holocaust Day (27.Januar)

In many European countries (Britain, Israel, Sweden, Germany) and the
United States the 27th January is the anniversary of the liberation of
Auschwitz. but also a Remembrance Day, the peoples (of the world),
/not the jewish people GB/), present and future, would express their
opposition to anti-semitism, racism and other forms of discrimination,
and their support for those subjected to them.
'Holocaust Day' to remember victims

National Day to Combat Antisemitism (27. Januar)

The Israeli Government has designated January 27th as a "National Day to
Combat Antisemitism". This day coincides with the annual European
commemoration of the Holocaust and the date Auschwitz was liberated.
On January 27th many activities will take place in the Israeli
educational system, the Israel Defense Force, Youth Movements and at Yad
Vashem. The Knesset will hold a special session with the participation
of the Prime Minister and Minister Natan Sharansky who initiated "The
National Day to Combat Antisemitism" and said: "Antisemitism threatens
the Jewish people, the very existence of the State of Israel, and in
fact the entire world and we must fight it".

More Links about the Holocaust
maintained by Al Filreis

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

aokabi ya aushubittsu ni man no kutsu

green mold -
tens of thousands of shoes
at Auschwitz

Iwai Kumie 岩井久美恵
Tr. Fay Aoyagi


Holocaust Day
sound of swing music
forbidden then

Angelika Wienert

Holocaust Day
two silent minutes

Gerd Boerner


Anti-War Haiku Wall

Mauthausen lager - do not forget anymore

lager stones
for each one a name -
bodies in the wind

Moussia - Roma


Shoah by Gerd Boerner 2003

Die bleichen Kinder
küssen die Erde - nun
vor den Öfen

Before the ovens
they kneel and kiss the ground –
those pallid children.



Auschwitz --
globok sneg ne more
pobeliti grozot

Auschwitz --
deep snow cannot whiten
the atrocities


na ledenih krizih
niti ene ptice

on the icy crosses
not a single bird

Alenka Zorman, Slovenia 2005


Garry Eaton about
Bergen Belsen
source : Shiki Kukai September 2010

Related words

***** Day of Desolation .. Yom haShoah

There is a cycle "Mauthausen" in German related to this topic:

Themen-Zyklus von Gerd Börner, Dietmar Tauchner und Angelika Wienert

. Hiroshima Memorial Day (Hiroshima-ki)
Nagasaki Memorial Day (Nagasaki-ki)


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