Holocaust, victims to be remembered at service

The Holocaust and its victims will be remembered Sunday, the beginning of the Days of Remembrance, in a service at Congregation Ohr Shalom.

The history of the Holocaust will be recounted in the service, said David Eisner, lay leader of the congregation, who also will include readings during the service, entitled, “Confronting the Holocaust: American Responses.”

The first response was disappointing and ultimately tragic, when German Jews fleeing Europe in 1939 on the transatlantic liner St. Louis were rejected first by Cuba, then by the United States and by Canada. They eventually were returned to Europe and allowed to enter several European countries.

By some estimates, a quarter of the ship’s 937 passengers died in concentration camps.

The trip of the St Louis was related in a 1974 book, “Voyage of the Damned,” and in 1976 by a movie of the same name.

Recent talk in Ukraine of requiring Jews to register, while associated with a fringe groups, “sent chills up my back,” Eisner said. “It seems like whatever we do, this stuff continues.”

Yom HaShoah — Holocaust Remembrance Day — is Monday and the Days of Remembrance are Sunday through May 4.

The service on Sunday begins at 7 p.m. in the synagogue, 441 Kennedy Ave., and is open to the public.


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