Who will remember? This is the question that troubles a dear friend of mine, a woman in her eighties who survived the horrors of the Holocaust. And therefore, every year – despite the physical and emotional hardship, she spends three days at the US Holocaust Museum in DC as their special guest talking to visitors one-on-one about her experience in the camps and as a survivor. What drives her is the desire to ensure that the suffering our people endured be remembered.
Another friend of the family, Dr. Hans Fisher, travels widely throughout the country sharing his experience growing up in Germany during the 30’s and leaving the country on the infamous St. Louis ship. You might have seen the movie Voyage of the Dammed, which is the Hollywood version of this amazing story – of a ship filled with refugees escaping Germany, supposedly bound for Cuba. But they were not allowed to disembark in Cuba, nor did the US accept these passengers. The St. Louis was sent back to Europe.
As 1945 recedes farther and farther away, as our precious few survivors age and pass, who will tell their stories? Who will remember? We honor them and we honor our people’s history when we gather as a community to remember and to bear witness. That is why this Wednesday evening, when Dr. Hans Fisher will share his story as a passenger on the St. Louis, is so important. I hope to see you at Ohabei Shalom, Wednesday, May 4 at 7:00 pm. L’shalom, Rabbi Sonia.