Education

High schoolers schedule Holocaust remembrance in Bristol

At a time of increasing antisemitism, hate, and intolerance throughout the United States, Vermont students are taking on the responsibility of sharing lessons of the Holocaust with their schools and communities.

To mark United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and the conclusion of the first Vermont Holocaust Education Week, Mount Abraham High School 11th graders Eliza and Emma Doucet have scheduled their second annual Holocaust commemoration event for Friday, January 27 in their hometown of Bristol.

The Doucet sisters are inviting local families, educators, and others to Bristol’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration which will take place Friday, January 27th from 6PM to 8PM in Holley Hall, 1 South St., Bristol. All are welcome. Childcare will be provided.

The United Nations General Assembly has designated January 27th—the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camps—as “International Holocaust Remembrance Day.” The U.N. has urged every member state to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and millions of other victims of Nazism; and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.

Eliza and Emma Doucet, twin sisters, were first interested in activism following the 2016 election, and the subsequent increase in hate that followed. After seeing the Addison County Jewish Congregation, an institution to which their family belongs, vandalized, the sisters realized that antisemitism exists even in their community.

“I began to get more involved in learning about my family’s history, heritage, and culture. My Jewish identity began to mean a lot more to me than it ever did before and I realized how proud I was, and still am, to be Jewish,” said Eliza.

Two years ago other Vermont students also took up the issue of Holocaust education by starting a petition entitled, “Help Make Holocaust Education Required in All Vermont Public Secondary Schools.”  The result: over 900 signatures and hundreds of offers of support and testimony…and signatures are still coming in.

Statewide, Vermont is not immune from antisemitism and racist attacks: news media have reported on antisemitic fliers and swastikas appearing throughout the state. The University of Vermont made national headlines as the institution was being investigated by the Department of Education for allegations of campus antisemitism. Nationwide, antisemitism may be worse than acknowledged, as most incidents are never reported, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Vermont Holocaust Memorial (VTHM) stands firmly behind these upstanding students. VTHM has reached out and is working with legislators for a bill to standardize Holocaust education in Vermont secondary schools. According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, at least 22 states already require Holocaust education as part of their secondary school curricula, including every other New England state. While Vermonters wait for effective legislation, VTHM offers Vermont educators a variety of free tools to facilitate related instruction, including professional development workshops, speakers, projects, and exhibits.

Vermont Holocaust Memorial, a 501c3 charitable organization, is the state’s only group dedicated to facilitating Holocaust education as a means of preserving the memory of that genocide, and using those lessons to combat bigotry, bullying, and racism of all kinds. More information can be found at HolocaustMemorial-VT.org

Categories: Education

5 replies »

  1. I think this is great. I would also like suggest other remembrance days for those who have suffered. I have relatives who perished in the Irish potato famine. I’d like to see more remembrance days for other cultures and religions who have experienced things like the Potato famine, the Holdomor or Mao’s great purge.

  2. Overemphasis on Jewish losses eventually, overall, hurt the Jewish people. The Nazis also relentlessly pursued Gypsys , alleged homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc. These should also be included in memories of the Holocaust.

    • In the end, the overemphasis on Jewish losses negates the impact of the ‘fake jew’ Khazarian mafia which originated out of Ukraine. They’re imposters. Anyone who has little to no familiarity with this should find a good search engine and research. BTW: Ireland also experienced a genocide @ mid 1800’s at the hands of the central bank/Khazarian mafia based out of London.

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