International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Area rabbi shares his thoughts

Jan 27, 2023, 9:00 PM
Rabbi Avremi Zippel talks to the crowd during halftime of a Jazz-Portland Trail Blazers game at Viv...
Rabbi Avremi Zippel talks to the crowd during halftime of a Jazz-Portland Trail Blazers game at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. Zippel joined Inside Sources on Friday to discuss International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Photo credit: Shafkat Anowar/Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Friday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It marked 78 years since the Soviet Army liberated Auschwitz.

Even to this day, the holocaust is a difficult event to remember or discuss. 

Rabbi Avremi Zippel, program director at the Chabad Lubavitch of Utah, joined Inside Sources Friday hosted by Marty Carpenter to discuss how this day can be honored.

Carpenter opens by mentioning a survey in the Netherlands, in which 59% of the respondents under the age of 40 did not realize that six million Jews lost their lives. Additionally, Carpenter also mentions that 29% of those in the survey believe the figure is 2 million or less.

Carpenter asks Zippel for his reaction to those numbers.

“If you think about the fact of those six million that were killed during the holocaust,” Zippel said. “How many of those were Dutch citizens?

Zippel talks about how his great aunts and great uncles, all of whom were Dutch citizens. His father grew up without any aunts or uncles. He was the youngest in his family. And his mother had also been the youngest in her family.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is crucial

In light of the Netherlands survey, Zippel says it’s even more important to remember the holocaust.

“And you think about the responsibility that a day like (Friday) brings with it to educate to keep certain realities at the top of mind forever,” he said. “And I think today is a day to commit ourselves to that. To remind ourselves of that obligation and that commitment to make sure that flame does not go out.”

Carpenter said “You’ve been to the concentration camp sites in Europe. I wonder if you could just share with this. What impressed you during those experiences?”

He says one of the concentration camps he and several of his colleagues visited was about 45 minutes from Berlin, Germany.

“But what left the most powerful impact on me was the proximity,” he said. “This was a stone’s throw from a major European city. To get from the train station, where the same train that took us to that part of town were the same tracks that were used to deport Jews from their homes to the concentration camps.”

Zippel says he and his colleagues took the same walk from the town to the train that the prisoners did. He says the walk went past people’s homes and through the center of town.

“And you realize how in front of people it was,” he said. “You realize how this was not happening behind closed doors in some part of the world that no one saw, or no one heard, or no one knew. This was happening in front of people’s noses, and good people sat by and did nothing.”

How to observe

Carpenter asked, “What’s appropriate to sort of observe a day like today?”

Zippel says people from that generation are getting fewer as they are growing old and passing away.

“It becomes our responsibility to become that voice for them,” he said. “And if they’re not going to be able to tell their stories anymore, we need to become their voice. We need to be able to step into that void and tell stories on their behalf. So that their testimony and their voice and their experience never, ever fades away.”

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard on weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Read more:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Race, Religion + Social Justice

Authorities arrest members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front near an Idaho pride event S...
Peter Johnston

Recent study ranks Utah among top ten for instances of white supremacist propaganda

A recent study ranks Utah seventh for instances of white supremacist propaganda. One possible reason, white supremacists recruit in the state.
4 days ago
a choir sings, a new religious study explored likeability of different faiths...
Aubri Wuthrich

Pew Research Center study reveals how Americans feel about different religions

The study asked about seven different religious groups in the United States. It specifically asked if the religion was favorable or unfavorable.
4 days ago
vivint center with all-start weekend design is shown, black Utah businesses got good traffic over a...
Adam Small

Black-owned businesses look to further their reach following All-Star weekend

Black businesses in Utah will be featured every weekend in April. The goal is to get people familiar with their community and local businesses.
4 days ago
great salt lake is pictured...
Kate Davis and Lindsay Aerts

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donates water shares to help Great Salt Lake

Gov. Spencer Cox expressed his gratitude to the church for the donation, saying that the decision makes the lake's future more secure.
6 days ago
A screenshot of an artist's rendering of the Moses Lake Temple. The open house for the Moses Lake T...
Mark Jones

Church announces open house dates for Moses Lake Washington Temple

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Monday the open house dates for the Moses Lake Washington Temple will be Aug. 4-19 with the exception of Sundays.
8 days ago
Jacob Hauver

General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

On April 1 & 2, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will come together to hear guidance and inspiration from church leaders.
11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a new winter activity? Try skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five common causes of Cervical Cancer – and what you can do to lower your risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get ready for fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 easy Christmas dinner ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Area rabbi shares his thoughts