JANUARY 27, 2024

ALBANY, NY: As we observe #HolocaustRemembranceDay, the Mental Health Empowerment Project (MHEP) recognizes the profound impact of this dark chapter in history on survivors, their families and communities worldwide. This day serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring trauma inflicted upon millions, leaving scars that persist through generations.

The atrocities of the Holocaust not only resulted in the loss of millions of lives but also inflicted deep psychological wounds that continue to shape the lives of survivors and their descendants. The trauma experienced during this period – including persecution, forced displacement and the loss of loved ones – has had profound and lasting effects on mental health.

Survivors of the Holocaust faced unimaginable horrors, including systematic oppression, torture and the loss of their families and communities. Many were subjected to extreme conditions in concentration camps: enduring starvation, physical abuse and witnessing the atrocities committed against their fellow human beings. The psychological toll of these experiences – compounded by the profound grief and survivor’s guilt – has left an indelible mark on survivors’ mental health.

Furthermore, the intergenerational transmission of trauma has meant that the descendants of Holocaust survivors also grapple with the psychological legacy of their ancestors’ suffering. The collective trauma of the Holocaust continues to reverberate through families and communities, influencing their relationships, identity formation and mental wellness.

At MHEP, we recognize the importance of acknowledging and addressing the enduring trauma of the Holocaust. We stand in solidarity with survivors and their families, honoring their resilience and strength in the face of unimaginable adversity. We also recognize the urgent need for peer support and advocacy to address the unique challenges faced by survivors and their descendants.

Our commitment to peer support extends beyond Holocaust Remembrance Day. We strive to create inclusive and supportive spaces for individuals and communities impacted by trauma, providing resources, support networks and avenues for healing. Through education, training and advocacy, we work to promote understanding, empathy and resilience in the face of adversity.

As we reflect on the lessons of the Holocaust, let us reaffirm our commitment to building a world where peer support is valued, supported and prioritized. Together, we can honor the memory of those who perished and ensure that the enduring legacy of the Holocaust is one of remembrance, resilience and hope for a better future. #NeverAgain.

In solidarity.

The Mental Health Empowerment Project