holocaust memorial last candle lit
(Mark Nussbaum, Grandson of Babi Yar, assisting with lighting of final candle; Photo by Ray Johnson)

Despite the chilly breeze and overcast sky, today’s 25th Annual Holocaust Gathering and Exhibit, held at Emmons Avenue & West End Avenue, was well-attended until the very end.

The memorial paid special tribute to two exceptional Christian Women, Irene Gut OpDyke and Irena Sendler, who were responsible for rescuing hundreds of Jewish people from annihilation during World War II.

The Shomrim Society of the New York City Police Department started the gathering off with their Color Guard services. Then, it was onto music and singing by the Edward R. Murrow H.S. Mixed Chorus. The multi-ethnic group, which included a young disabled student, sang a few moving songs in both Hebrew and English.

There were displays of artwork and tables with literature to help bring awareness about work going on to keep the memory alive. The representative at the table for Museum of the History of Polish Jews North American Council, who is originally from Sheepshead Bay, shared with me some of his memories growing up here.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz spoke about his experiences visiting Anne Frank’s hideaway in Amsterdam and other places in Europe, such as Austria, that had been the spots of Nazi hatred, as well as modern spots where there were signs of renewed hope.

Mayor Bloomberg was not there and there was no mention about any controversies regarding the inclusion or exclusion homosexuals, gypsies, or any other particular groups.

There was also a display of artwork and winners announced for an Essay, Poetry & Art Contest that was coordinated by Terry Steinberg, Director of Special Projects.

The memorial was a somber and reflective event that, by the end when the sun came out, had people thinking of peace.

Note: Please check back during the week, for more pictures of the event.

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  • Anthony

    The event must have been very moving. The Holocaust was one of history’s most tragic and shameful events. Thank God there were women like Irene Gut OpDyke and Irena Sendler who were willing to risk their lives for others. The fact that they themselves were not Jewish makes them seem even more angelic since there was no self-interest on their part. They are well-deserving of the tribute they received and serve as an inspiration to us all.

  • Anonymous

    Indeed, it was touching.

  • Christine and tim

    We have been to the Holocaust Memorial in Sheepshead Bay before and were deeply touched.But, moving, somber,reflective yesterday went way beyond that for us… My wife I were reading the stones before the start of the program. A very small old lady was standing next to us. This lady asked, Can you find stone 131 for me? We found it for her and she said, Look those names are my six brothers and sisters. Next she pulled back her sleeve so we could see the number tattooed on her arm. You may have seen us, we were the couple holding each other and crying…

  • http://www.flickr.com/paypaul Paul

    Here’s a poignant moment from this event I took last Sunday. I having some interesting photographic moments with the flames.
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2434/3627680386_641736aaee.jpg

  • Anthony

    The event must have been very moving. The Holocaust was one of history’s most tragic and shameful events. Thank God there were women like Irene Gut OpDyke and Irena Sendler who were willing to risk their lives for others. The fact that they themselves were not Jewish makes them seem even more angelic since there was no self-interest on their part. They are well-deserving of the tribute they received and serve as an inspiration to us all.

  • Anonymous

    Indeed, it was touching.

  • Christine and tim

    We have been to the Holocaust Memorial in Sheepshead Bay before and were deeply touched.But, moving, somber,reflective yesterday went way beyond that for us… My wife I were reading the stones before the start of the program. A very small old lady was standing next to us. This lady asked, Can you find stone 131 for me? We found it for her and she said, Look those names are my six brothers and sisters. Next she pulled back her sleeve so we could see the number tattooed on her arm. You may have seen us, we were the couple holding each other and crying…

  • http://www.flickr.com/paypaul Paul

    Here’s a poignant moment from this event I took last Sunday. I having some interesting photographic moments with the flames.
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2434/3627680386_641736aaee.jpg