The Triumph After the Holocaust

Yom Hashoah, the Holocaust Remembrance Day, is a day for mourning. A day for remembering. A day for never forgetting. But for me, I see it also as a day of triumph. A day of declaration that we survived and will continue to exist and flourish.

I first realized this association with the Shoah (the Holocaust) three years ago. I graduated high school in February, and went with my high school class to Poland and the Czech republic for two weeks and then Israel for a couple months.

It was in Eastern Europe, when I was walking in the footsteps of my people who were brutally massacred in the Holocaust, that I made my decision to move to Israel. It was from the ashes of the most horrible evils imaginable that I recognized how far our people have come.

Yes, Yom Hashoah should be a time to mourn those we have lost. The 6 million lives, and the lives that would have come from them. But it is also a time to realize our refusal to face defeat. Now, 71 years after the war has ended, our people have a country. We continue to prosper. The fact that we exist today proves that the Nazis were not successful in their mission.

It was not in Israel that I decided to move to the Holy Land. But rather, it was when I witnessed the stories that were never told. The voices that were never heard. The lives that were never lived. It was at this moment that I realized how important it is to continue the triumph. It was then that I recognized how essential it was to ensure that Hitler’s vision would never come true. It was then that I focused on our triumph and not our defeat.

I will never forget, I will always remember, that Am Yisrael Chai. The People of Israel Live.

About the Author
Originally from Washington, D.C., Penina Graubart is the New Media Associate for Times of Israel. She also attends IDC Herzliya, studying at the Sammy Ofer School of Communications
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