PV Schools

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

The United Nations has designated January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This is the commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz and Birkenau by Allied troops near the end of World War II.  Reflections of American soldiers from that experience catalog the horrors they viewed. They witnessed the complete degradation of humanity in the starving survivors and in the remainders of the gas chambers and incinerators.  Their stories revealed to the world what had been reported but not fully understood due to the unthinkable nature of the genocide that included 6 million Jewish citizens of countries throughout Eastern Europe.  However, the journey to the death camps began with words, caricatures,  messages that dehumanized Jews, Roma, children and adults with disabilities of all kinds, gay men and women and others who were defined by the German government as less than human.  The process of degrading others began with legal segregation and the elimination of rights to education and professional opportunities. Thus, remembering the Holocaust is about remembering that the privilege of democracy is earned through vigilance and civic engagement.  I am including a link to a YouTube video that reminds us that there have been a number of other genocides since the holocaust, and that remembering requires our commitment to defend the dignity of all.



Dr. Frances Wills

Superintendent of Schools