While the local Jewish community remembers the Holocaust, the soldiers who led liberation operations at concentration and death camps are not forgotten.
"We want to thank them for putting their lives at risk to save a generation of people Jewish and non-Jewish," said Barry Shapiro, lay leader at Ohev Sholom Congregation in York Township.
Shapiro also is chairman of the committee organizing the Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day service to be held at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 27, at the Jewish Community Center, 2000 Hollywood Drive in York Township.
The committee is made up of representatives of Ohev Sholom, Temple Beth Israel and the Jewish Community Center, said Shapiro, 63, of Spring Garden Township.
They are looking for "liberators," the World War II veterans who participated in liberating Jewish people from concentration and death camps, he said. The veterans will be honored during the service, where they'll also be asked to help light candles in memory of the Holocaust victims.
Yom HaShoah commemorates the more than 6 million Jews killed by the Adolf Hitler-led Nazis before and during World War II.
The keynote speaker will be U.S. Army veteran Sol Goldstein of Baltimore. He helped liberate the Buchenwald concentration camp in Czechoslovakia.
Besides the liberators and other World War II veterans, all men and women who served in the military are invited to attend the event. A World War II veteran will light a remembrance candle on their behalf, Shapiro said.
Prior to the service, a 35-minute version of the 90-minute documentary "Memory of the Camps" will be shown at 6:25 p.m. The documentary includes actual scenes of liberation operations at various concentration and death camps, Shapiro said.
Because the scenes are graphic, people can decide to sit in the lobby while the documentary is shown or just show up for the 7 p.m. service, he said.
"(The documentary) shows what the liberators saw and what they did," Shapiro said. "It's our feeling that it's something that needs to be seen because the victims, survivors and liberators are few and they're getting too old to tell the next generation what happened. We don't want the history to be lost."
-Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the event
The service for Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, begins at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 27, the Jewish Community Center, 2000 Hollywood Drive in York Township.
The service will honor World War II concentration and death camp liberators and recognize other veterans.
Event organizers are looking for WWII veterans who participated in liberation operatiorns. They can call 870-4946.