NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A special ceremony was held on the East Side Sunday ahead of Yom Hashoah — Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Members of Temple Emanu-El lit candles for the day of commemoration, which officially began at sundown.

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One by one survivors of the Holocaust were escorted up to the front to light memorial candles, 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern reported.

Inge Oppenheimer, who is an instructor at the Museum of Jewish Heritage as well as a survivor, said it is important to remember the Holocaust “because it — hopefully — will help us to make sure that this will never happen again.”

Unfortunately Oppenheimer feels it already has to other groups in places like Africa and Serbia.

“One of the disappointments in my life has been to see so much of this repeated,” she said.

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Sal Rosenkranz, who was in attendance, lost his parents and most of his siblings in the Holocaust. He survived despite being shuttled to six different concentration camps, Stern reported.

Oppenheimer said as long as Israel survives, Jews will never face another Holocaust.

“God forbid. No, I think Israel would prevent that,” she said.

Overseas, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a historic statement, calling the Holocaust the most heinous crime of modern history.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded by calling on Abbas to cancel his new deal with the terror group Hamas — a group that denies there was a Holocaust.

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