Holocaust Remembrance Day
I will always remember the Yahrtzeit candles.
As a child, the night of Yom HaShoah was when my father’s mother lit three Yahrtzeit candles in remembrance of her father, mother, and seven siblings. All but one, her youngest brother, perished in the Holocaust. That brother brought her to America and a new life. But she never forgot.
Yom HaShoah is not all about tragedy. While we do remember the fallen and mourn their loss, we also remember the unbelievable stories of those who survived. Respected lecturer Bronia Brandman was very young child when the war began; she survived through a series of outright miracles. Today she is a docent for the Museum of Jewish Heritage, a living memorial to the Holocaust in Battery Park City in downtown Manhattan.
Touro College Libraries also have a collection of survivors’ testimony. Some books in our collection include: To vanquish the dragon by Pearl Benisch, I’m no hero: Journeys of a Holocaust survivor, by Henry Friedman, and Himmler’s Jewish tailor: The story of Holocaust survivor Jacob Frank, by Mark Lewis & Jacob Frank.
This Yom HaShoah, I plan to consider both aspects of the Holocaust. Though it was an atrocity and a tragedy; faith, hope, and tenacity yielded survivors who kept the traditions of their ancestors alive. These survivors raised a generation who will never forget what their heritage reflects, we will pass on their message.
Yom HaShoah began the evening of Sunday, April 27, 2014 and ends in the evening of Monday, April 28, 2014.
1. Bierman, C. & Brandman, B. (2010). The girl who survived: A true story of the Holocaust. New York: Scholastic.
Contributed by: Toby Krausz, Judaica Librarian, Midtown