Holocaust Remembrance Day observed Saturday

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Holocaust Remembrance Day aims to bring the world together to remember the roughly six million Jews killed during the Holocaust. Local people say the day has a special meaning to them.

Eric Hallerman, president of the Blacksburg Jewish Community Center, had family in the Holocaust.

“The Jews went through a major trauma about 80 years ago,” Hallerman said. “This is not just abstract, this includes my father and uncle who survived.”

Hallerman said the Holocaust killed many of his family members.

“My grandmother was captured, and she died basically in a ghetto,” Hallerman said. “My grandfather escaped, he hid in the farm of someone who was his friend. Later on, he was caught and he was shot.”

The many lives claimed during the Holocaust is a horror that should never be forgotten.

“People perpetuate such things when they are scared, hungry, cold, threatened,” Hallerman said. “It can happen anywhere.”

Hallerman asks people to educate themselves, especially as many Holocaust survivors are growing too old to tell their stories.

“Holocaust Remembrance Day doesn’t pertain only to Jews,” Hallerman said. “Everybody should know about it. Everybody should respect the lesson. Everybody should look inside themselves and tell themselves, well, if I see injustice being done, I have to stand up and be vocal.”

About the Author

Amy Cockerham joined the 10 News team in January 2023.