Wednesday also marks the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the largest of the Nazi concentration camps.READ MORE: Blackface Costume Controversy Hits N.J. Town Of Lakewood
“To remember is an expression of humanity,” says the Pope.
Exactly what so many are doing Wednesday, remembering the Holocaust.
At the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park, CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock followed along as Israeli Consul General Israel Nitzan joined museum president and CEO Jack Kliger for a tour and to pay their respects.
Kliger spoke to CBS2 about the survivors he’s met.
“What’s amazing to me is, the unifying of all them is that they all have a sense of hope,” he said.
Kliger wishes for all to share in that hope for a brighter future.
“Don’t be a bystander, be an upstander,” he said.
That sentiment is echoed by 3GNY.
The nonprofit was started by third-generation descendants. They make visits to schools year-round — virtually now — to share stories of Holocaust survival.READ MORE: Long Island Community Comes Together To Help Beloved Ceramics Shop Facing $87,000 Lawsuit From Landlord
“I kind of feel like it’s my obligation but also my honor to be able to tell my grandparents’ story,” 3GNY volunteer Anna Scheumann Gallegos said.
She tells the story of Erna and Max Hilfstein, who married in Krakow Ghetto before getting sent to the concentration camp.
“They thought they were going to die tomorrow and they wanted to die married,” Scheumann Gallegos said.
Miraculously, they made it through.
CBS2 News photographer Alan Lesner shared his family’s story. He’s the son and grandson of Holocaust survivors, and he has a collection artifacts — a star of David, pictures of family-owned businesses seized by the Nazis and a doll.
His mother, Lillian, carried the doll from Hungary to France to Luxemburg while running from the Nazis with her parents, Julius and Margaret Lesner.
“They basically fled, they hid, they did everything possible to survive, including pretending to be Christian,” Lesner said. “What she experienced hiding from the Nazis scarred her for the rest of her life.”
He added, “This is a really dark, evil point in history. We can’t forget it.
In the words of survivor Primo Levi, “It happened, therefore it can happen again.”MORE NEWS: 'It Takes Away The Pain': New Jersey Woman Helps People Experiencing Homelessness Through Community Kindness Closet
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