The U.S. Congress established the Days of Remembrance as the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust. DoDEA joins the world in honoring the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, as well as the millions of non-Jewish victims of Nazi persecution.
This year, the Holocaust Days of Remembrance week will be observed from April 16 - 23, 2023. Holocaust Remembrance Day will be Tuesday, April 18, 2023. This day is observed each year during the week of Remembrance that runs from the Sunday before Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah) through the following Sunday. DoDEA students from the Americas region will be participating in the Holocaust remembrance ceremony again this year by providing questions that will be asked to the two panelists.
In 1980 through Public Law 96-388, the United States Holocaust Memorial Council was established to lead the nation in commemorating the Holocaust, and to raise private funds for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The Council consists of 55 members, who serve for five-year terms, and are appointed by the President. Additionally, five members each from the Senate and House of Representatives, and three ex-officio members from the Departments of Education, Interior, and State complete the Council.
The 2023 theme Rays of Hope is a testament to the resiliency of Holocaust survivors, a tribute to their protectors and liberators, and a memorial to the fallen. This year, we pay tribute to two Holocaust survivors, Peter Gorog and Manny Mandel.
Peter Gorog was born in Budapest in 1941. He defected to the United States in 1980 and spent his career working for the federal government as a contractor, including at the Department of Justice, where he supported the FBI’s Image Restoration Project. Peter also worked at the Department of Defense, the Nation Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where he worked on the James Webb Space Telescope.
Manny Mandel was born in 1936 and grew up in Hungary. The impact of the Holocaust came later in the war years, through unexpected deportation to Bergen Belsen and family separation. In 1945, Manny and his mother immigrated to Palestine, where they were reunited with Manny’s father. They then moved to the United States, settling in Philadelphia, where Manny attended the University of Pennsylvania. He was a practicing psychotherapist in Maryland until his retirement in 2014.
As we remember the innocent Jewish men, women, and children murdered by the Nazi regime, we also recognize the valiant non-Jewish individuals who risked their lives, families, and livelihoods to save people fleeing imprisonment and death. Known as the Righteous Among the Nations, they have a special place of honor and gratitude.
Eli Rosenbaum hosted the 30th Annual Federal Inter-Agency Holocaust Remembrance Program, “Rays of Hope” on April 18, 2023. The program featured two Holocaust survivors, Manny Mandel and Peter Gorog.