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Holocaust Days of Remembrance and Malmstrom events

This year’s poster for the Holocaust Days of Remembrance observance honors the story of Anthony Acevedo, a World War II veteran and Holocaust survivor. His actions, like those of so many other survivors, led to this year’s theme, Learning from the Holocaust: Legacy of Perseverance. (Graphic by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute)

This year’s poster for the Holocaust Days of Remembrance observance honors the story of Anthony Acevedo, a World War II veteran and Holocaust survivor. His actions, like those of so many other survivors, led to this year’s theme, Learning from the Holocaust: Legacy of Perseverance. (Graphic by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute)

Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. -- The Holocaust Days of Remembrance observance began April 8, and will continue until April 15. Holocaust Remembrance Day is Thursday, April 12.

At 11 a.m., Thursday, April 12, the Malmstrom Air Force Base theater, building 1156, will play a free showing of “Life is Beautiful,” a 1997 film about an Italian-Jewish man, Guido, who helps his son, Joshua, survive the Holocaust by pretending it is all a game. He tells Joshua that if he wins, he will win a real tank.

The film begins with the son and father in a relatively normal existence before the war, and then leaps forward into the persecution of the Jewish people in Italy. Guido and his son Joshua are then imprisoned in a German concentration camp where the rest of the story plays out. People who have base access can attend this event.

Starting at 8 a.m., Friday, April 13, people will gather at Malmstrom’s Balfour Beatty Community Center, 600 Aspen St., for a Days of Remembrance walk. Parking is located at the center and anyone with base access can attend.

The walk is a 1-mile loop from the center to the Child Development Center and back. If snowing, participants will still walk, and it is suggested to wear layers. If it is raining, participants will meet upstairs at the indoor track in the gymnasium.

“Each year Malmstrom hosts different special observances and the Holocaust Remembrance Day was an observance I chose to advocate and promote,” said Staff Sgt. Monique Hulse, 341st Missile Wing Force Support Squadron community service NCOIC of community services.

“The Remembrance Walk gives us the opportunity to mourn the senseless loss of so many lives, celebrate those who saved them and honor those who survived,” she said.

“It is important to organize commemoration activities showing respect for the victims and survivors and to call attention to the horrible scope and scale of the Holocaust,” she continued. “The Day of Remembrance is an important reminder to our children that compassion in humanity belongs to us all around the world and to every generation.”

The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute writes that the Holocaust Days of Remembrance are observed each year during the week of Remembrance that runs from the Sunday before Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah) through the following Sunday.

This year’s poster by DEOMI honors the story of Anthony Acevedo, a World War II veteran and Holocaust survivor. His actions, like those of so many other survivors, led to this year’s theme “Learning from the Holocaust: Legacy of Perseverance.”

Acevedo was a 20-year-old medic in the U.S. Army’s 70th Infantry Division when he was captured along with 350 U.S. soldiers by the Germans following the Battle of the Bulge, one of the bloodiest battles of World War II.

While a prisoner of war, Acevedo kept a diary of the soldiers’ experiences. In 2010, Acevedo donated his diary to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum along with personal artifacts. Additionally, he became the first Mexican-American to register with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Holocaust survivor list.

In the poster, Acevedo’s Red Cross armband lays across his open journal. The script in the background is a page from the same journal he kept, documenting his experiences as a prisoner of war.

The armband was adorned with signatures of fellow prisoners following their liberation by U.S. armed forces on April 23, 1945. The portrait in the lower right corner is a military photo of Acevedo with an inscription to his significant other, which he sent home prior to his capture.

The U.S. Congress established the Days of Remembrance as the nation’s annual commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust and created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a permanent, living memorial to those victims.

According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. Holocaust is a word of Greek origin meaning sacrifice by fire.

In 1980, Congress unanimously passed legislation to establish the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, which oversees the museum.

The council, which succeeded the President’s Commission on the Holocaust, was charged with carrying out the following recommendations:

• That a living memorial be established to honor the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and to ensure that the lessons of the Holocaust will be taught in perpetuity.

• That an educational foundation be established to stimulate and support research in the teaching of the Holocaust.

• That a Committee on Conscience be established to collect information on and alert the national conscience regarding reports of actual or potential outbreaks of genocide throughout the world.

• That a national day of remembrance for victims of the Holocaust be established in perpetuity and be held annually.
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