Holocaust Education Week (HEW) is recognised the first week of November, this year running from November 1 to 9. In 2023, HEW falls at an incredibly difficult moment for the Jewish community. The content shared during this week may be triggering for some staff and students. However, acknowledging HEW aligns with the Waterloo Region District School Board’s (WRDSB) commitment to teaching about historical and current experiences of systemic oppression and antisemitism.

From 1933-1945, the Nazi Germany regime was responsible for the state-sanctioned, persecution and killing of six million Jewish people and 5 million non-Jewish people. This was because they were classified by the regime as racially or biologically inferior. This included:

  • Roma and Sinti people
  • LGBTQIA+ people
  • People with disabilities,
  • Slavic peoples
  • Afro-descendant people
  • Other identity groups whose traumas are now being surfaced to the public

Almost 80 million people would die in World War II, the global war that brought an end to the Nazi Regime in Germany.

Understanding historical harms provides the learning necessary for a future free of antisemitism and genocide. HEW is also a time to acknowledge the resiliency of Jewish Canadians and their contributions to Canadian culture.

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