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Horizon School Division
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News Item

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 27, 2017

​January 27 is Holocaust Remembrance Day and in many of our schools, the following announcement was read to students as we remember the victims of the Shoah (Holocaust – genocide) and of other victims of genocide: 

“Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27 January each year. It’s a time for everyone to pause to remember the millions of people who have been murdered or whose lives have been changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. On HMD we can honour the survivors of these regimes and challenge ourselves to use the lessons of their experience to inform our lives today.  January 27 marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

HMD is a time when we seek to learn the lessons of the past and to recognize that genocide does not just take place on its own, it’s a steady process which can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked and prevented. We’re fortunate here in Canada; we are not at risk of genocide. However, discrimination has not ended, nor has the use of the language of hatred or exclusion. There is still much to do to create a safer future and HMD is an opportunity to start this process.”

Horizon's Curriculum Coach (and retired William Derby School History teacher), Larry Mikulcik, visited Auschwitz-Birkenau for the 70th annuversary of the camp's liberation, where there were nearly 300 survivors in attendance. Mr. Mikulcik was one of 25 teachers from around the world, and the only Canadian, selected by the USC Shoah Foundation to travel to Poland in 2015 in order to participate in the “Auschwitz: The Past is Present” professional development program. Below, you will find pictures from his trip and the solemn ceremony he was a part of.

Ceremony outside the main gate of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Survivors can be seen wearing blue and white bandanas with a red triangle and the letter "P", for prisoner.

The 3rd annual Horizon Holocaust Symposium will be held on April 24, 2017 in Humboldt, Sask. This event brings together Grade 11 students from across Horizon to hear from experts and speak directly with Holocaust survivors, providing critical learning opportunities for students. To see highlights from last year's Holocaust Symposium, click here for a video compiled by Horizon students at the event.