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International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Friday, Jan. 27
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Chelmno, (Polish Chełmno, German Kulmhof) was the first camp established by the Germans in which to conduct mass executions. Situated on the Ner River in German-occupied western Poland, it reached its highest level of killing efficiency between April 1941 and December 1943. The facilities included three gas vans and two crematoria that were 32.5 feet (10 metres) wide and 16–19 feet (5–6 metres) long. Nazi records document the deaths of 180,000 people in Chelmno. After the war, Polish experts assessed the number of people who were executed, including Soviet prisoners and Roma, to be closer to 360,000. Today, Museum Kulmhof stands on the site of the death camp along with part of the “manor house” where camp prisoners were held and stripped of their valuable possessions.
Those who do not remember the past are ... probably not Jewish
The first documented traces of Ethiopia’s Jewish community, the Beta Israel, date as far back as the fourteenth-century. The community consisted of farmers and artisans and a religious hierarchy including a class of ascetic high priests, or meloksewoch, and lay priests, or qesoch who operated in Ge‘ez, a Semitic tongue that became its main liturgical language. To escape war and famine more than 100,000 Ethiopian Jews fled to Israel beginning in the 1980s. Since 2018, archaeologists have been drawing on archaeology, texts, and the oral history and memories of living members “to learn more about the community’s obscure history and unique practices.”
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