Last year, more than half a million people marked Holocaust Remembrance Day by taking part in this project, but every year we say goodbye to more and more Holocaust survivors. Now, the project's founder is calling on people to continue to hold these meeting even if no Holocaust survivor is found to take part.
"More and more people are turning to us in frustration and say they will not hold the event this year because they have no survivors," said Adi Altschuler, one of the founders of Memory in the Living Room.
"Memory in the Living Room was founded exactly for this reason—so the memory of the Holocaust doesn't depend on the survivors. Keep hosting Memory in the Living Room, even if you don't have a Holocaust survivor," she urged.
"We are here to sustain this thing even after they are gone. Unfortunately, the number of Holocaust survivors is diminishing. Let us all work together to shape Holocaust Remembrance Day so that it is accessible, meaningful and relevant even in their absence."
In light of the many appeals, the Memory in the Living Room website posted a kit explaining how to host the meetings without a Holocaust survivor.
"In the past few days, thousands of people have asked us to pair them up with Holocaust survivors or with members of the second generation to give testimonies in their living rooms," the website said. "Unfortunately, there are no Holocaust survivors left in our databases. And so we are imploring you: 'don't give up on Memory in the Living Room.'"
The kit includes recorded testimonies, among them Helena Birnbaum, who talks of her life in the Warsaw ghetto and the deportation to the concentration camps. This 7-minute testimony is suitable for evenings hosting second generation or academics. Another example is Baruch Shub's testimony about his escape from the Nazis and his joining the partisans. This testimony is suitable for adult salons and is 25 minutes long.
The kit also contains sections for reading, texts, lyrics and chords that are suitable for the event, as well as ideas for various activities and more.
(Translated and edited by N. Elias)