Early afternoon on Friday, the community gathered at the Palm Desert Civic Park to stand together and remember the victims, but also honor the survivors and heroes of this dark chapter in history.
Hosted by the Mensch International Foundation, speakers ranged from city leaders to locals, all there to remember what happened 78 years ago on January 27, 1945.
Palm Springs Mayor Grace Garner was one of these speakers.
She gave high praise to organizations like Mensch who are working tirelessly to deepen solidarity and bring us together so that more people locally and around the world can feel that diversity is good and not a threat.
“We must ensure that such horrible crimes against humanity never occur again,” Mayor Garner said. “It starts with educating, accurately educating, our youth about the horrors of the Holocaust. We must push back when we hear attempts to ignore, deny, distort, or revise history. It falls to each of us to speak out when we witness antisemitism and bigotry. It’s up to all of us to make a commitment to ensuring our world is more of an inclusive place for everyone.”
“I bring greetings from everyone at St. Margaret’s today,” St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church Rector Rev. Andrew Butler shared during his speech. “We want you to know that we are with you. Many of our members have family members, loved ones and friends who are Jewish, and we want you to know that we’re in this together.”
January 27th was designated by the UN General Assembly to honor the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Located in south Poland, Auschwitz was liberated in the last moments of World War II.
During Nazi occupation, it was the site of the mass murder of Jews and others targeted by Adolf Hitler and his regime.
In all, about 1.1 million people were killed there, most of them Jewish.
Throughout its entirety, over a third of the Jewish population were killed during the Holocaust.