Victims honored at Idaho Day of Holocaust Remembrance

Posted at 4:39 PM, Apr 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-24 19:23:17-04

Hundreds gathered inside the Capitol for the Idaho Day of Holocaust Remembrance on Monday. 

The Lincoln Auditorium, a room typically used for political debate, was, instead, used for a solemn and emotional ceremony. 

A proclamation read by Lt. Gov. Brad Little and signed by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter declared Monday the Idaho Day of Holocaust Remembrance.

"As a Jew, I feel passionate about remembering what happened," said Sherrill Livingston, a member of the remembrance planning committee. 

The words of Holocaust Survivor Elie Wiesel were read to honor the 11 million Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses, members of the LGBT community and others who died in the Holocaust. 

Pauline Harf's parents escaped the Holocaust.

"My father left Cologne, Germany in 1939," Harf said. "He left for Argentina with an older brother. At one point, he counted up for me the different family members that had perished and it came to a total of 35 people." 

Harf said though it's important to remember the tragedy, she believes ceremonies like Monday's inspire hope and action. 

"We remember the past to inspire hope for our future," she said.

"All of us need to stand up and take a stand, take action, to stop bigotry and racism and intolerance in the world," Livingston said.

2017 marks the 36th consecutive Holocaust Remembrance Observation in Idaho. On April 18, 1982, Idaho Governor John Evans signed a proclamation establishing Idaho's first statewide observation of Holocaust Remembrance. 

This year's observance was dedicated to Idaho human rights activist Marilyn Shuler. Shuler died in February 2017.