WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Over 80 years has passed since the persecution and murder of European Jews by the Nazi Germans during the Holocaust. Time has moved forward, but Wright-Patterson observes Holocaust Remembrance Day every year to honor those who were either directly affected or have family members who were affected by the events.
Starting in 1933, Jews were attacked in different forms such as legal discrimination, public identification, organized violence, physical displacement, forced labor, and mass murder. The persecution persists today with an all-time high of antisemitic incidents in the United States in 2022 (Anti-Defamation League, 2023). Holocaust denial and distortion is growing, which is why many remember and teach about the hatred and discrimination of those events to ensure that our world not only knows but becomes better than the past.
Dr. Renate Frydman, Holocaust survivor and curator and docent for the Holocaust exhibit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force as well as the director of the Dayton Holocaust Resource Center, was just a little girl when she and her family escaped from Nazi Germany.
“I was very fortunate to have my maternal grandfather, who saw what was coming before it all actually happened,” Frydman said. “He decided to leave his birth country that he fought for during the first World War in order to come to America so that my parents, my grandmother and I would be safe.”
The internationally recognized date for Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2023 is April 18. On this day, Wright-Patterson will be hosting a Holocaust remembrance event for the base community at the Air Force Institute of Technology’s Kenney Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., where Dr. Frydman will also be the guest speaker. Those who wish to view through livestream can go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdkyQXwrtw4.
“It’s sad to say, but these kinds of things can happen to anyone at any point in time,” Frydman said. “We have to educate everyone we can on the lessons we’ve learned and hope for a better world. We all have an obligation to keep each other safe, and it’s important to remind people how precious our freedom is.”