The Holocaust robbed the world of the legacies of generations of lost families

January 18, 2021

Column

The Holocaust robbed the world of the legacies of generations of lost families

By Michael Levitt

On Jan. 27, people will gather across Canada and around the world to recognize International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a solemn occasion of reflection for the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.

While that number is seared into our collective consciousness, the individual stories are often silenced and added to the grander narrative of horror and loss. What is also rarely discussed is the loss of possibility those six million lives represented. The families they never had, which by now would have expanded into third and even fourth generations. The contributions to society that each and every one of those souls could have made. The lives they would have lived and the legacies they would have left.

We also remember and honour the survivors, those courageous men, women and children who endured unfathomable hardships, overcame evil, and despite the horrors they endured, managed to pick up the pieces. They are the ones who carry the silenced voices of the victims on their shoulders. The Bourla family of Thessaloniki represents one of those stories.

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