Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust
The Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust (DRVH) is an annual 8-day period designated by the United States Congress for civic commemorations and special educational programs that help citizens remember and draw lessons from the Holocaust. The annual DRVH period normally begins on the Sunday before the Jewish observance of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, and continues through the following Sunday, usually in April or May. A National Civic Commemoration is held in Washington, D.C., with state, city, and local ceremonies and programs held in most of the fifty states, and on U.S. military ships and stations around the world. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum designates a theme for each year's programs, and provides materials to help support remembrance efforts.A House Joint resolution 1014 designated April 28 and 29 of 1979 as ""Days of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust."" Senator John Danforth of Missouri, had originated the resolution, chose April 28 and 29, because it was on these dates, in 1945, that American troops — including at least one ethnically segregated artillery battalion of the U.S. Army, many of whose own relatives were themselves interned during the war on American soil — liberated the Dachau concentration camp and a number of its satellite camps.In 2005, the United Nations established a different date for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jan. 27 — the day in 1945 when the Soviet Red Army liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp — but the Yom HaShoah date of Nisan 27 on the Hebrew calendar continues as the date for the determination of the 8-day DRVH commemoration. This date also links the DRVH to the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943.