PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — On January 27, 1945, the USSR liberated Nazi Germany’s death camp Auschwitz, marking a turning point in the war.
“Today, from one side is a happy day that the war started to finish but on the other side, it’s a very sad day,” Chabad Rabbi Mandel Havlin said. “What happened, we cannot just forget about what happened to six million.”
Auschwitz was one of the biggest death camps ever created by man.
During the five years, the death camp was in operation nearly 1.3 million people passed through Auschwitz’s infamous gates. Of those 1.3 million less than 200,000 walked away with their lives.
Most survivors have either since passed or are well into their 90s.
As those who experience the genocide firsthand lose their voice, Havlin said it’s more important now than ever to continue the conversation and educate future generations.
“We cannot face the future without knowing what happened in the past, we need to learn from it, we need to know that something like that can happen,” Havlin said.
Less than 50% of states require schools to teach about the Holocaust.
“The lessons of the Holocaust are remembered and those lessons inspire a new generation. To greater tolerance, moral courage and personal integrity,” Havlin said.
Havlin said by teaching the new generations about the Holocaust we can teach them to search for meaning even in the face of suffering.