December 18, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
29°F
test

Holocaust/WWII museum opens in NW Ohio

DELPHOS – A former postmaster has fulfilled his dream of gathering and displaying memorabilia, mostly letters, relating to the Holocaust and World War II.

Founder Gary Levitt, Holocaust survivors and others opened the new exhibit this month in the lower level of the post office of this Northwest Ohio village. Many of the items were obtained from the National Museum in Washington, D.C.

Rabbi Sol Oster blessed the new permanent exhibit and offered a prayer that mankind would be brought together in brotherhood and goodwill.

Author Liesl Sondheimer of Lima is grateful the exhibit tells what happened to Jews in that time period.

“My husband and I and our two children fled penniless in September 1938,” she recalled. “We went to England and then to New York. We feared for our lives.”

Sondheimer stressed the importance of keeping the Holocaust in remembrance.

“There are only a few of us left who lived through those events. Pretty soon it will be forgotten because there is no one to remind us,” she said.

Murray Cohen of the Ethel and Nathan Cohen Foundation agreed with Sondheimer.

“When we look back on history, we hope that the Holocaust taught the world a lesson. When Eisenhower planned to visit one of the concentration camps, there were 11,000 to 12,000 prisoners killed just days before he arrived,” Cohen said.

“He ordered photographers to the camp to take pictures so the world would know what happened there.”

One museum exhibit tells the story how two cousins, one in Germany and one in the U.S, bolstered each other`s spirits by writing letters during the war years. The cousin in Germany and most of his family perished in the Holocaust, but a daughter managed to escape and joined the other cousin in West Virginia, Levitt said.

“This exhibit is a testament to the fact that the written word has sustained people through terrible times in our history,” Levitt said.