Monday marks Holocaust Remembrance Day focusing on remembrance, faith

Monday night marks the start of Holocaust Remembrance Day; a day for people to mourn and remember the millions of Jewish people killed in the Holocaust, while honoring survivors and descendants.

At synagogues across the country, communities will gather for memorial services and listen to survivors speak about the Holocaust.

Institute for Holocaust Research and Education President Mitch Chargo says data shows millennials and Gen Z’ers are lagging far behind when it comes to knowledge of the holocaust.

"This really is a call to action to people. Today is a day to reflect [and] to think what can I do to make a difference?" Chargo told FOX 9. "10 percent of millennials and Gen Z’ers don’t even think the Holocaust happened, 48 percent can’t name a camp." 

Chargo believes that knowledge gap could be playing a role in the recent rise of antisemitism. 

The Anti Defamation League tracks anti-Semitic incidents across the country, and in 2022 it reported its highest totals ever, since it began tracking the incidents in 1979.

"This buildup in antisemitism is very similar to what happened back in the 1930s and 1940s," Chargo said.

Just last Saturday, Metro Transit Police say a bench inside a Minneapolis bus shelter at the corner of Lyndale Avenue South and 31st Street was vandalized with antisemitic language referencing Temple Israel in Minneapolis.

Now, law enforcement continues to investigate that vandalism, and officials are asking anyone with information to call their tipline at 612-349-7222.

"When you see antisemitism or experience, call it out, it’s not OK," Chargo said.