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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

March 23, 2018  RSS feed
Culture

Text: T T T

Hear victims’ names, listen to survivors at Yom HaShoah observance


Halina Herman Halina Herman For 7 1/2 hours, the names of Holocaust victims will be read aloud as the Florida Holocaust Museum commemorates Yom HaShoah. The day of remembrance will be interspersed with talks by four who survived and now bear witness to the Nazi atrocities.

The community is invited to visit the St. Petersburg museum free of charge between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Yom HaShoah, Thursday, April 12, and take part in the observance, which will conclude with a memorial service at 5:30 p.m. The service is being conducted in conjunction with the Pinellas County Board of Rabbis and Tampa Rabbinical Association.

Known more commonly outside of Israel as Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah honors the memory of the more than 6 million Jews who perished during the Holocaust. The full name of the day is Yom HaShoah Ve-Hagevurah or “Day of the Remembrance of the Holocaust and the Heroism” as it also marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. (Designated by the U.N., Inernational Holocaust Remembrance Day is observed on Jan. 27 and coincides with the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps).


Gary Silvers Gary Silvers The Name Reading Commemoration is intended as an effort to remember the victims as individuals with life stories and histories.

“Victims of the Holocaust don’t have graves – reciting their names allows for them to be memorialized while reminding us of their human dignity,” said museum Executie Director Elizabeth Gelman.

The museum is reinforcing its commitment to ensuring such atrocities do not occur again both through the reading of victims’ names and hearing from survivors.

At noon, Halina Herman, who survived the war as a hidden child, will tell her story. Herma n was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1939. Her father was a physician and was sent away by the Germans to a slave-labor camp in April 1941 and she never saw him again. Herman’s mother obtained false papers and got a job as a maid in Cracow. She placed Halina with a non-Jewish family who raised her as Christian. After the war, she was reunited with her mother. Halina continued to go to church until her mother revealed their Jewish identity to her in 1949. They went to France where they stayed until they were able to immigrate to Canada.


Marie Silverman Marie Silverman Gary Silvers and his family took quite a different route in order to survive. Silvers, who will speak at 2 p.m., was born in Berlin, Germany in 1929. His mother was Christian, his father was Jewish. When the persecution of Jews ensued in Nazi Germany, in 1938, the family decided to seek refuge in Shanghai, China – one of the few places that would take Jews in. From 1933 to 1941, Shanghai accepted some 18,000 Jewish refugees fleeing Europe. Most were from Germany and Austria. Silvers’ father pleaded with his relatives to leave Germany, but they were not ready to abandon their lives and did not think the situation would deteriorate. Aside from his immediate family who survived in China, all of Silvers’ Jewish relatives died in the Holocaust.


Jeannette Bornstein Jeannette Bornstein Following the 5:30 p.m. memorial service, there will be a special Holocaust Survivor talk with sisters Marie Silverman and Jeannette Bornstein.

Marie Silverman was born in 1931 and her sister Jeannette Bornstein was born in 1935. They lived in Antwerp, Belgium, with their parents when World War II began. After Germany invaded Belgium, the family escaped to France. For awhile, non-Jews hid them on a farm but when the roundups began, the family was captured and separated: the sisters with their mother were placed in an internment camp at Rivesaltes, France, while their father was sent to a different camp. After 9 months, Marie and Jeannette’s mother managed to smuggle the girls out of Rivesaltes. The family was briefly reunited in Vence, France, but their father soon died as a result of the mistreatment he had endured in the internment camp. Two partisan couriers took the sisters across the Pyrénées Mountains on foot from Vence to Barcelona, Spain. They lived with their aunt and uncle and then came to the United States. Once here, they were placed in an orphanage and with foster families until their mother was able to reunite with them in 1949.

Anyone wishing to participate in the reading of Holocaust victims’ names should call the museum at (727) 820-0100 ext. 249 to schedule your time slot.

The Florida Holocaust Museum is located at 55 5th St. S., downtown St. Petersburg.


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