Grades: 10 - 12
Duration: 20 minutes
This ceremony focuses on the complexities of liberation, the shock of the Allied troops at what they saw, and the intermingled joy and deep grief of the rescued survivors.
Towards the end of World War II, advancing Allied forces from east and west began discovering first-hand the horrendous scope of Nazi atrocities – hundreds of concentration and extermination camps in which prisoners had been abused in every way imaginable. For those Jews still alive in these camps, liberation meant the end of a deadly, repressive, and nominal existence. However, for most prisoners, real celebration was impossible.
- Chamberlin, Brewster and Feldman, Marcia, The Liberation of the Nazi Concentration Camps 1945: Eyewitness Accounts of the Liberators, United States Holocaust Memorial Council, Washington, D.C., 1987, pp. 75-76.
- Ibid., p. 103.
- Helfgott Hyett, Barbara, In Evidence – Poems of the Liberation of the Nazi Concentration Camps, pp. 43, 87, 113.
- Kleiman, Yehudit and Springer-Aharoni, Nina, The Anguish of Liberation, Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1995, p. 13.
- Ibid., p. 18.
- Ibid., p. 53.
- Tito, E. Tina, Liberation: Teens in the Concentration Camps and Teen Soldiers who Liberated Them, Rosen Publishing Group, 1998, p. 39.
- Shalev, Avner and Gutterman, Bella, To Bear Witness, Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2005, p. 256.
- Kleiman, Yehudit and Springer-Aharoni, Nina, The Anguish of Liberation, Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1995, p. 38.
- Ibid., p. 16.
- Ibid., p. 45-46.
- Yad Vashem Archives, 03/5426, pp. 41-42 (Hebrew).
- Shema by Primo Levi, translated by Ruth Feldman And Brian Swann
- Yad Vashem Archives, 033/1122.
- Amariglio, Erika, From Thessaloniki to Auschwitz and Back, translated to English by Theresa Sundt, London and Portland, Oregon: Vallentine Mitchell, 2000, p. 157.
- Littell, Marcia Sachs and Gutman, Sharon Weiss, Liturgies on the Holocaust: An Interfaith Anthology, Trinity Press International, pp. 78-9.