DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR SURVIVORS AND THEIR DESCENDANTS COMMEMORATES 70 YEARS
May 15, 2014—Today, NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) will host and be the Master of Ceremonies of “Remembering the Past and Living for the Future,” a day of remembrance for Holocaust survivors and their descendants and a special tribute commemorating the 70 years since Jews were forced into the Auschwitz death camp. Co-hosted by Nachas Health & Family Network of Brooklyn, the event will honor the memories of Chiune Sugihara, a heroic Japanese diplomat who saved thousands of Jews during the war, as well as Jan Zwartendijk, a Dutch Council in Lithuania who, together with Sugihara, issued transit visas allowing Jews to escape the death camps. The memory of Oscar Schindler, who is well known for saving many Jews from perishing, will also be honored.
Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau, the former Chief Rabbi of Israel, will deliver the keynote address. Rabbi Lau, whose father perished in Treblinka, is himself a survivor of the Buchenwald camp. Ambassador Sumio Kusaka, Consulate General of Japan, will accept an award on behalf of Sugihara; Rob de Vos, Council General of the Netherlands, will accept an award on behalf of Zwartendijk; and Mordechai Ben David, the famed entertainer, will be representing David Werdyger, who recently passed away. Werdyger’s life was personally saved by Oscar Schindler.
Benny Fishoff and Moshe Hellman—both survivors of the Shanghi ghetto—will also participate in the ceremonies.
“The tragedy of the Holocaust will always remain with us,” said Assemblyman Hikind. “It is our duty and obligation to commemorate those we lost and to honor those heroes who saved lives.” The son of survivors. Hikind’s district has the largest number of Holocaust survivors in the United States.
“One person can change history,” added Rizy Horowitz, Senior Coordinator for Nachas Health’s Holocaust Program. “That is one of the predominant messages of this important event.” Nachas, which offers numerous programs for seniors, remains the leading source for Holocaust reparations in the community.