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International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorates the victims of the Holocaust, which resulted in the genocide of two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population and one-third of the overall Jewish population, as well as millions of others by the Nazi regime.

Jan. 27 was chosen as International Holocaust Remembrance Day because on that day in 1945, the Red Army liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp.

On this day, we remember and mourn the six million Jews whose lives were cut short during the horror of the Holocaust. We also remember the millions of Roma and Sinti, Slavs, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and political dissidents who were murdered at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators.

The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie is a great way to honor the memories of those who were lost and those who survived by learning universal lessons that combat hatred, prejudice and indifference.

Samuel R. Harris is one of the survivors highlighted by the museum. He is one of the youngest survivors of the concentration camps during the Holocaust. He was four years old when the Nazis occupied Poland.

Harris, his seven siblings and parents were forced into the ghetto where they lived for almost three years. Harris’ entire family, except two of his sisters, were deported to Treblinka and murdered. One of his sisters worked as a slave laborer in the concentration camp outside of Deblin and was able to hide him. In 1945 they were liberated and were able to move first to Austria and then to New York City where they were adopted by two different families. Harris then lived in Chicago, and went to college, married and had children. He was an integral force behind the building of the Holocaust Museum and Education Center of which he is the former president.  

In a world where hate is on the rise, use this International Holocaust Remembrance Day to learn, remember and mourn.

Sam’s bio: Samuel R. Harris - Illinois Holocaust Museum (

Survivor Profiles: Holocaust Survivor Profiles | Illinois Holocaust Museum (

Holocaust Museum: Illinois Holocaust Museum | Chicagoland Museum (