In Panama, Six Days for the Six Million

Mon, 04/20/2020 - 11:24am

Panama’s Jewish community is commemorating Yom HaShoah virtually this year with a week-long series of thematic Instagram posts that will integrate clips from USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive.

In memory of the six million killed, Panama Friends of Yad Vashem coordinated a six-day campaign focused on survivor families in Panama, the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, and community commemorations of Yom HaShoah.

About 700 followers of Friends of Yad Vashem in Panama (@fundacionemet) started receiving several posts a day on April 17. Five-hundred people usually attend the community’s annual Yom HaShoah celebration.

One day is dedicated to Jews who saved Jews, and the VHA provided clips that relate to three important figures: Marcel Marceau, who before becoming a world-famous mime artist worked with the French Jewish Resistance to save thousands of Jewish children; Anglo-German Jewish businessman and philanthropist Wilfrid Israel, who played a significant role in the Kindertransport; and the Bielski brother partisans, who fought the Germans and saved Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland.

The clips will also be intergrated into iWitness, USC Shoah Foundation’s educational platform.

“The best way to understand the collective impact of the Holocaust and other genocides is to look at the individual experiences,” said Aliza Liberman, a member of USC Shoah Foundations Next Generation Council, and an organizer of the Yom HaShoah events for her community in Panama. “Testimonies make a palpable impression.”

Julie Gruenbaum Fax
Julie Gruenbaum Fax was a senior writer and editor at the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles and has co-authored six personal history books. She is currently writing a book about her grandmother’s Holocaust experience.