Exhumations of mass graves
Jewish survivors quickly established various forms and rituals of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust and the Jewish communities that were destroyed during the war. These “Days of Remembrance” were linked to different dates. Some survivors commemorated their annihilated community members on the day of deportation, while others linked remembrance to traditional days of mourning in the Jewish calendar. In the second half of the 1940s, survivors held commemorative ceremonies in the DP camps – often with a parade – on the liberation dates of extermination camps.
In addition to memorial days and commemorations, survivors from many communities sought to identify mass graves and exhume members of their communities who had been murdered, as well as erect public memorials to the members of their community killed in the Holocaust.
Wiesenthal's preoccupation with the crimes of National Socialism was always intended as a means of impacting the future. He tirelessly called for a public confrontation with the past. Various forms of commemoration therefore played an important role in the activities of the JHD.