LOS ANGELES, Jan. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The year 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp, and the ending of the Holocaust and World War II. In 2005, the United Nations (UN) designated January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this day, the UN encourages everyone to honor the lives of the nearly two-thirds of Europe's Jews murdered by Nazi Germany's vicious acts of genocide and remember the perils of allowing unrestrained hatred to grow. At the age of seven, Dr. Erica Miller and her family, along with thousands of other Jews, were imprisoned for four years in a Nazi holding camp in Mogilev, Ukraine, before being liberated by the Russians. As a Holocaust survivor, Dr. Miller understands the critical importance of commemorating and honoring the six million Holocaust victims. "We need to remember those who perished in the Holocaust and empower ourselves to be vigilant to minimize the opportunity that it will occur again," says Dr. Miller.
This hatred did not end with the Holocaust. There is a disturbing resurgence of anti-Semitism. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an anti-hate organization, recorded more than 1,800 anti-Semitic incidents in the United States in 2018, including an increase in physical assaults. The ADL compared the number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2013 with 2018 and reported a 150-percent increase in these incidents, including the murder of 11 Jews worshipping at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. Dr. Miller, who holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, believes this increase in anti-Semitism is not new. "The ugly head of anti-Semitism has shown up many times in our history," Dr. Miller says. "I've lived long enough to see that it was horrific during the Holocaust with the Nazis and then it calmed down and now it's coming up again."
Dr. Miller believes education about anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and bullying is critical for reducing hostility and prejudice against Jews. As an international best-selling author and inspirational speaker, she engages with young and old about basic human rights and the importance of caring for others. "You have to start early and teach children," Dr. Miller says. "Education brings that awareness of the connection between anti-Semitism, bullying and lack of kindness. Anti-Semitism is happening all over the world. We need to use our voices against discrimination towards anybody." Another tool she suggests is partnering with organizations fighting anti-Semitism, including StandWithUs, Hillel and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), to ensure that all generations never forget what happened during the Holocaust. "We're not alone," she says. "We can engage in communities with these organizations to combat this brutality and horrific negative information about Jews and anti-Semitism. We can be there for each other."
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SOURCE Dr. Erica Miller