The theme of this year’s March of Remembrance is “Uprising Against Antisemitism” in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. It not only commemorates the victims of the Holocaust, but also the many heroes who resolutely stood up against the Nazi plan to exterminate all Jews at that time.
KINGWOOD, TEXAS (PRWEB) MAY 06, 2023
Along with Dallas Texas’ well attended and inspiring March of Remembrance on April 16 at SMU, the twelfth March of Remembrance Houston took place on Sunday, April 23rd . Over 300 students and community members of all ages, along with government leaders remembered, reconciled and took a stand against modern-day antisemitism. The day ended with a celebration of life, honoring rescuers, upstanders, World War 2 veterans, liberators and those who survived. Texas is making a stand.
The vision of the Holocaust Remembrance Association (HRA18), with the March of Remembrance, Holocaust Garden of Hope and Upstander Stone Project, is to see the world inspired to stand in solidarity against persecution, prejudice, and indifference. It has never been more important to reach people, especially young people, with this message; so it is fitting that the twelfth March of Remembrance Houston was held again at a local Kingwood school. Last year’s location was Creekwood Middle School, and this year the March was hosted by Principal Michael Curl and Kingwood Middle School. The newly renovated facility was ideal for the March program in the beautiful packed out theatre . The opening ceremony included moving songs by Susan Peitzman, commissioned artist for the Holocaust Garden of Hope, and Kingwood Park High School Junior Taylor Mattingly. A trio of very talented shofar blowers, Bo Young, Pastor J.J. Hensley and Iris Toro, led the opening call to assembly before introductions by Principal Curl and Dr. J. Doug Stringer, MC of the program and founder and president of Somebody Cares America-International.
Holocaust survivor Rosian Zerner, who related her miraculous Holocaust journey from a well-to-do family in Lithuania to the inhumane conditions of the Kovno ghetto, to escape and life on the run, and reunion with her parents. She recounted the many times her life was saved by rescuers who risked their lives to hide and take care of her. “It takes 5 to 7 different people to successfully rescue a child.” Bärbel and Frank Pfeiffer came from Germany to relate the stories they had learned about their grandfathers’ involvement in the Holocaust as Nazis, and their remorse towards and love of Jewish people and Israel. Local businesswoman Barbara Isom told stories of her father who at the tender age of 19 was a liberator at Mauthausen Concentration Camp, and Tibor Rueben, who had been a Jewish prisoner there and went on to do all he could to thank his “GI Joes”, including fighting in the Korean war and winning the Medal of Honor for saving his unit. Five countries were represented, The Honorable Kai Hennig, Consul General of Germany, Monika Sobczak, Consul General of Poland, Doncsev András, Consul General of Hungary, Vitalii Tarasiuk, Consul General of Ukraine and the Consul of Israel to the Soutwest, Elad Shoshan attended, marched and spoke to the crowd about the Holocaust, what their countries were like then, how they have changed, and the growing issues of antisemitism worldwide.
Because Kingwood Middle School is some distance from the Holocaust Garden of Hope, Humble ISD buses transported the marchers to a point along the way and from there they walked one and a half miles to the Garden. down the Path of Righteousness from the future exhibit eight to the soon-to-be-completed entrance and on to the amphitheater where the program continued. As they walked along the path, participants heard names of some of the children who perished in the Holocaust, and each held an Upstander Stone with the name of another child. The stones have been painted by many students in Humble ISD as well as other schools, scouts, synagogues, churches, organizations and families, to represent the one and a half million Jewish children who perished in the Holocaust.
As the marchers arrived at the amphitheater, they heard music by Sheena Lewis and Ashley Stringer as more victims’ names were read. After proclamations and sharing, Rozalie Jerome, Director of the March of Remembrance Texas and a second-generation descendant of Holocaust survivors, and Mitch Jerome, Chairman of the Board of the Holocaust Remembrance Association led a celebration of life. Steve Finkleman (second-generation descendant) followed a candle-lighting with Kaddish, an ancient Jewish prayer of thanksgiving and peace to honor the dead. Hannah (third generation descendant) and Chris Auchter of Opera Leggera sang Ahavat Olam, a song about God’s eternal love, and CBM and BYHM dance teams inspired the attendees with their grace and then invited all to join in.
The March of Remembrance Texas in Houston was made possible by generous sponsors including The Nathaniel Foundation, Insperity Corporate Citizenship, Dr. Anna Steinberger, Kingwood Emergency Center, Reconciliation Eagles, Ben Diaz Roofing, Senior Source, LLC, Kingwood Rotary Club, The Crossover Project, World Affairs Council of Houston, Minuteman Press Humble, HEB and Somebody Cares America-International. Opportunities to sponsor the 2024 march are available on the Holocaust Remembrance Association website, http://www.HRA18.org.
Construction on the Holocaust Garden of Hope began the next day, with the Grand Opening of Phase 1 scheduled for September 10, 2023. The purpose of this outdoor interactive educational initiative is to educate children and young families about the role of children as survivors, victims, rescuers, and perpetrators during the Holocaust. It will be free and open to the community along with special programs and a travelling exhibit.
The Holocaust Remembrance Association includes the Holocaust Garden of Hope, Upstander Stones Project and Scholarship opportunities. The website is http://www.HRA18.org.