Holocaust Remembrance Day in St Augustine

In a program created through a partnership between International B’nai Brith and the St Augustine Jewish Historical Society, called “Unto every person there is a name”, dozens of area residents gathered in the Gazebo on the campus of Flagler College last week to read the names of Holocaust victims.

European Jews from 1933 through the conclusion of World War II, in May 1945, were stripped of their names. They were assigned numbers that were tattooed on their forearms for identification in Nazi concentration camps.

“Reading names from lists provided by the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, restores the identities of Holocaust victims that would have been lost forever,” Rabbi Merrill Shapiro said. “During Yom Hashoah ceremonies, along with the names of Holocaust victims, their age, place of birth and place of death are recited, if known; in order to personalize the tragedy of the victims of the Nazi genocide.”

Shapiro reported to Historic City News that thousands of names were read during the ceremony; held on the eve of the internationally recognized Yom Hashoah — Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“We hope to influence young people positively; most have never met a survivor of the Holocaust or heard the personal experiences of those who choose to share,” Shapiro told reporters.

Six million Jewish men, women, and children were systematically murdered; simply because they were born Jewish. Billions of dollars in property were confiscated, tens of thousands of books were destroyed, and thousands of Jewish communities were obliterated – forever.

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