Memorial Day for victims of the Holocaust in Zilina

This photo was taken on the occasion of the Memorial Day for victims of the Holocaust and racial violence in Zilina. On this occasion we meet at the memorial to the victims of the Holocaust in the city, where a memorial ceremony takes place to honor those murdered during World War II. The photo shows me, Jan Hanak, during this event in 2005, lighting a candle in memory of the victims.

As opposed to my brother, I'm registered with the Jewish religious community in Zilina. After the Velvet Revolution [17] friends from the community approached me and asked whether I wouldn't be interested in joining. From a religious perspective I don't feel myself to be a Jew, but I am a Jew by race. When memorial events for victims of the Holocaust take place, I also participate in them. After all, many members of my family were murdered during the Holocaust. It's my responsibility to honor their memory. But I don't participate in the religious life of the community at all. I was a Roman Catholic since the age of three, and currently I'm an atheist. A person has to confront all his opinions with reality. In my opinion, religion is a lot of humbug. The turning point came when I started my basic army service. As a soldier I had a lot of time to think about the meaning of life, existence and my future. Eventually a person has to pose himself such fundamental questions. The main thing is for us to meaningfully fill the time that we have here on Earth. Because at the close of life, everyone will take stock of whether or not he used his time meaningfully.