Indiana honors women of Holocaust at 24th Annual Holocaust Remembrance event
The 24th Annual Holocaust Remembrance program was hosted at the Indiana Statehouse Thursday afternoon.
The day also commemorates the anniversary of Kristallnacht, or the "Night of Broken Glass," which was a series of pogroms against the Jewish people by the Nazi party Nov. 9-10, 1938.
Executive Director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission Greg Wilson said the day is about both remembering the Holocaust and translating it into action.
“We joined together every year to host this program in order to recommit ourselves as a state, as individuals, to always stand up and speak out so that we can live in a world free from hate and bigotry, atrocities of the Holocaust, so the Holocaust may never happen again,” Wilson said.
This year's event had a special emphasis on honoring and remembering women from the Holocaust. Without the courage and resilience of these women, many more would have perished, noted Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb.
“The role that women played in ensuring the survival of so many people should never be overlooked,” Holcomb said. “And this year, today, we acknowledge and specifically honor those women.”
The Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and the Peace Center for Forgiveness & Reconciliation both received the Never Again Ambassador, which goes to an individual or organization that has shown a commitment to Holocaust education.
Erin Ondrusek, a social studies teacher at Westfield High School, was awarded the Hoosier Upstander Award for using the lessons of the Holocaust to inspire the Indiana community to fight against bigotry.
“The reason that those lessons are so important is that I hope that the side of humanity that is brave, courageous, is stronger than the opposite side,” Ondrusek said.
The program is hosted by The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Indiana Holiday Commission, the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, and the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council.