‘Remembrance Is Constantly Evolving’: This Year’s Yom Hashoah Holocaust Memorials Are Forced Online By The Coronavirus

(JTA) — For more than three decades, thousands of teenagers from dozens of countries have trekked each April to Auschwitz to learn about the horrors of the Holocaust.

This year, they’re staying home. With the coronavirus pandemic making travel and gatherings impossible, the March of the Living, like so much else, is taking place exclusively online.

So are countless other memorial programs developed for Yom Hashoah, the international Holocaust remembrance day that this year is taking place April 21. They include films, prerecorded concerts and talks by survivors and even the recitations of names of victims that are a centerpiece of observance in many communities.

Coming 75 years after the end of the Holocaust and as the coronavirus poses a serious threat to frail, elderly survivors, this Yom Hashoah is giving rise to innovation — but also grief about what has been set aside, and questions about whether online Holocaust education can replicate the impact of an in-person experience.

To cancel the March of the Living was “a heavy decision,” chair Shmuel Rosenman said from his home in Israel. 

“You don’t know if the survivors will be able to come next year … because of their age or because they are not with us any more,” he said. “But sometimes, you know, if you have a tsunami you have to run away as fast as you can.”

The whole article is available here:  https://www.jta.org/2020/04/19/culture/remembrance-is-constantly-evolving-this-years-yom-hashoah-holocaust-memorials-are-forced-online-by-the-coronavirus