Jewish Herald-Voice

Published•Thu, Apr 19, 2012

Diverse community, Nazi descendants, to commemorate Holocaust
Holocaust survivors, Jews, Christians and German Nazi descendants will come together at a Holocaust March of Remembrance, on April 21, north of Houston in Kingwood, Texas. Beginning with an awareness walk at 1 p.m., participants will reflect not only on those who were lost in the Holocaust, but also on the many rescuers who took a stand to save others. The event will culminate in a memorial service at 3 p.m., officiated by Rev. Msgr. Chester L. Borski, S.T.L., of St. Martha’s Catholic Church, and Rabbi Dan Gordon, of Temple Beth Torah.

Hosted by seven Kingwood churches from different denominations, the march will begin with an opening ceremony with Senior Pastor Jim Welch of Kingwood United Methodist Church, 1799 Woodland Hills Dr. Continuing on Woodland Hills, participants will pass points of reflection as they walk to St. Martha Catholic Church, 3702 Woodland Hills Dr., where the memorial service will be held.

Ruth Steinfeld will be the keynote speaker. As a child, she was swept up in the terror and taken to a concentration camp; she and her sister, Lea Weems, of blessed memory, were smuggled out of the country by a French-Jewish operation. Although she lost both of her parents to the death camps, Steinfeld speaks not only to give a voice and reality to the Holocaust history, but also to give hope to living past trauma and finding joy in forgiveness.Other notable speakers at the service include Kingwood physician, Hy Penn, a second generation survivor, who visited the family who hid and protected his parents. Also sharing his story is Simon Wellner, not only a child of Holocaust survivors, but one who was born on Hitler’s birthday, in determined defiance of the Final Solution. 

Nazi descendants atone for past
In addition to the representatives of the Holocaust survivors, five descendants of Nazi party members will attend the memorial, as part of their ongoing efforts to atone for the actions of their forefathers: Guenther and Ursula Kiesinger, Claudia Kiesinger, Rebecca Dietrich and Anke Ebe. Dietrich’s father was haunted for the remainder of his life by his participation in the Wehrmacht activities. A heavy weight, he ended his life by suicide. The Kiesinger family is related to the former German chancellor, Kurt-Georg Kiesinger, who was notorious for attempting to hide and whitewash his former involvement in the Nazi party and the Wehrmacht.

A nationwide event, the 2012 March of Remembrance will be held in 40 U.S. cities and is an offshoot of the March of Life in Europe. The gatherings provide an opportunity for people worldwide to demonstrate publicly their respect for the Jewish people and their right to exist as a nation. The march kicked off on April 15 at a former Hitler Youth Camp in Yaphank, N.Y., and will culminate April 22 with a main event on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol Building.Click here to read the article.