ELYRIA — Candles were lit Friday at Temple B’nai Abraham in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is celebrated Sunday.
The evening vigil honored both victims of the tragedy and served as a reminder to the community that human rights violations can take place anytime, anywhere.
Rabbi Lauren Werber said it is important to honor those lost during the Holocaust.
“We are returning to the sadness and to honor those we lost during the Shoah (Holocaust) simply because they were Jews,” she said to the congregation inside the temple. “We recall part of what they witnessed, part of the horrors that they suffered, in order to remember and honor them.”
As the service began, members of the temple lit candles in memory of the 6 million Jewish people killed in the Shoah and the 5 million other victims of the Nazi regime.
Erwin Froman, the only Holocaust survivor in Lorain County, lit the fifth candle. The fifth candle signified the martyrs who gave their lives to help others, and who died that others might live.
Throughout the service, historical readings and pieces written by survivors were read, describing the same lives people had living in concentration camps.
Anne Frank wrote in her diary, “I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us, too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.”
Often, Jews would gather in the darkness and secret to listen to lessons and lectures from one another.
But for many survivors of the Holocaust, talking about what happened to them inside concentration camps proved to be one of the most difficult tasks of all.
Yet there is no denying the life they endured.
Janet Garcia’s father, David Rosenberg, is a survivor. She said her father, who turned 85 in March, never spoke about the time he spent in the concentration camp until Hollywood movie director Steven Spielberg debuted his movie “Schindler’s List” in 1993.
“It was never a conversation (in our house),” Garcia said after the service.
Her father, who now resides in Kalamazoo, Mich., was a young boy when he was forced into a concentration camp. While in the camp, his mother, father and siblings were killed. However, in 1945, Rosenberg had uncles residing in the United States who paid for his sponsorship and he was liberated.
Garcia said her father and Froman have spoken about their time spent in the ghettos and learned that they lived only towns away from each other during the early 1940s.
Garcia said she makes it a point to attend a service such as the one Friday every year.
“It’s a very important date,” Garcia said of April 27.
Contact Melissa Linebrink at 329-7243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why April 27?
Holocaust Remembrance Day is marked on the 27th day in the month of Nisan — a week after the end of the Passover holiday and a week before Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers). It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
The date was selected in a resolution passed by Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset, on April 12, 1951. Although the date was established by the Israeli government, it has become a day commemorated by Jewish communities and individuals worldwide.