COLORADO SPRINGS — Hundreds of people took Thursday to remember the Holocaust — a day to look back on the crimes against Jewish people and the millions murdered by the Nazis.

“The Holocaust Remembrance day is for Jewish people and the whole world to remember and see when people choose to follow their wicked inclinations,” said Rabbi Boaz Vituk of the Chabad of Colorado Springs Jewish Community.

It’s a day that’s holding new meaning for some in light of an audit posted on Wednesday by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). According to the audit, Colorado now ranks 8th nationwide in number of anti-Semitism incidents. The audit also showed a major spike in anti-Jewish incidents in Colorado with the state jumping from 60 in 2020 to 92 incidents in 2021.

Rabbi Vituk talks about how remembering the Holocaust is a sobering reminder that wickedness exists in the world. Credit: Rachel Saurer

“While anti-Semitism and hate are still prevalent,” Gov. Jared Polis (D) said. “The response of our state’s highest office is to loudly proclaim that anti-Semitism and bigotry are simply unacceptable, and we will not permit them to be normalized.”

Jewish people in Colorado say it’s even more important that people remember this day and the horrors many Jews faced nearly 80 years ago.

“By us seeing what other human beings did, by not following their Godly spark,” Rabbi Vituk said. “But, by following their animalistic and selfish agendas to teach us a lesson not to let it happen.”

It’s a day many people who lived through won’t soon forget.

“There was little food to be had and life was very hard,” said holocaust survivor, Marion Goldstein.

Goldstein’s family fled Germany when her grandparents started getting harassed in shops they owned. Her grandparents and their children sailed to different parts of the country, but her parents ended up in Shanghai in 1939.

“They got married there… and along came Marion! And life was actually quite good,” Goldstein said.

Goldstein talks about her time during the Holocaust. Credit: ADL

That is, until Japan invaded China.

“They formed an internment camp for the Jews because Hitler wanted the Japanese to do away with the Jews,” Goldstein said.

It wasn’t until 1948 when her family was finally able to flee China and come to the United States. She said if it hadn’t been for the ongoing support from organizations in the US like Jewish Family Services, her life would have looked a lot different.

“I am allowed to live, what I consider, a very nice life,” Goldstein said.

ADL streamed an entire program dedicated to Holocaust Remembrance Day and it was their 41st Annual ADL Governor’s Holocaust Remembrance Program. You can view the full program here.

You can find more events on the Jewish Family Service’s website.