#WeRemember: NGHS Partakes in Holocaust Remembrance Day



NGHS commemorated Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27. Through posters and announcements, they remembered the victims, spreading awareness . Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

In light of Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27, individuals and organizations participated in the #WeRemember campaign. A simple yet powerful hashtag, #WeRemember, decorated the halls of Westwood, as well as social media platforms worldwide. It aimed to remember those who lost their lives in the Holocaust and ensure the past is never forgotten.

National German Honor Society (NGHS) hung posters around the school containing QR codes, encouraging students to learn more about the Holocaust and the history of the remembrance movement. In addition to learning about the language and culture, NGHS is dedicated to understanding German history.

“I’m fortunate to have been able to have [Holocaust survivors] come to my schools when I was [young] to tell us what happened, but they can no longer do that,” NGHS sponsor Frau Melgar said. “ It is important to keep the awareness there especially as we have seen a rise in Anti-Semitism and hate in general over the last couple of years.”

In addition to the posters, NGHS wrote a speech to be conveyed over the announcements, highlighting the importance of remembering history, and encouraging students to take part in the #IRemember hashtag.

“Bringing awareness to injustice and learning about mistakes we’ve made in the past can help us learn to be better in the future,” NGHS President Dominic Schwarzenbach ‘24 said.

Holocaust Remembrance Day occurs on Jan. 27 to commemorate when prisoners were liberated from Auschwitz, the largest concentration camp in Nazi Germany. Over the course of five years, over 1.1 million people perished in Auschwitz.

“A campaign like this is [makes it] simple for everyone to participate [and show] their support, remembering and honoring the victims, and showing their stance against hate,” Frau Melgar said. “This campaign is not just about the historical events, but also about the consequences of hate. Millions of human beings were killed because of who they were, and we as a human race must remember that in order to stop the cycle.”

Incentivizing interaction with the QR codes, teachers in the social studies department gave extra credit to students who found the information and took pictures with the #WeRemember sign. NGHS also honored Gunter Demnig, a German artist who commemorated the victims of the tragedy through a project called Stolperstine. The project, named after the German word for “stumbling stones”, involved thousands of brass plaques that were installed in front of the last known address of those who were taken to concentration camps. NGHS shared information to spread awareness about this, which can be found here.

“It is a great project that has been done to honor & remember the victims of the Holocaust,” Frau Melgar said.

Next year, NGHS hopes to make the event even bigger by joining up with other organizations and posting on social media to get more students involved in the campaign.

“We can continue working on this campaign throughout the school year, since remembrance shouldn’t just be during [a] designated time, but throughout the entire year,” NGHS Vice-President Sania Sultan ‘24 said.