A group of activists unveiled five new stones memorializing non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust at Sheepshead Bay’s Holocaust Memorial Park this weekend, capping off nearly two decades of fighting for the right against a local committee opposed to the installation.

The stones, dispersed throughout the public park, remember the persecution of homosexual victims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the disabled, Roma and Sinti, and “asocials.” The unveiling ended nearly 20 years of struggle for broader recognition within the park. Members of the Holocaust Memorial Committee, charged with reviewing and approving the placement of new names and markers, held a protest led by City Council candidate Ari Kagan, who complained that the group of “outsiders” went over the committee’s head in getting approval to place the stone, and represented a threat to the memory of Jewish victims.

Kagan led a protest against the placement of the new stones.

Despite the protest, the activists who pushed for the markers’ placement held a solemn service on Sunday and viewed the unveiling as a victory for the memory of lesser-known victims of the Nazi atrocities – and for social acceptance of those groups today.

“Things have changed in the last two decades,” said Richard Landman, the gay son of two Jewish Holocaust survivors who has spearheaded the initiative for inclusion. He noted the smaller size of the protest compared to previous years and the acceptance from politicians including former Mayor Ed Koch and Congressman Jerrold Nadler.

“I’m looking at this toward the future. This is a city park, where there are many people who are affected by the Nazi-era of the Holocaust. I want that, in the future, other groups should come here and learn their lessons of the Holocaust,” he added.

Landman was joined by represenatives from Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, Disabilities Network of NYC, Disabled in Action and Voice of Roma.

The proponents of inclusion have been fighting for the addition of the stones at Holocaust Memorial Park at Emmons Avenue and West End Avenue since the early 1990s, before the memorial had even been completed. Landman formed the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Children of Holocaust Survivors in an era when gay and lesbian people were being given the boot from second generation survivors organizations. Around that time he also learned that the original plans to honor non-Jewish victims had been nixed, and he began fighting to have them reinstated.

The battle made headlines as early as 1996 – a year before the park was officially dedicated by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The committee, which sponsored the project in conjunction with then-Borough President Howard Golden, claimed that recognition on the base of the eternal light in the memorial’s centerpiece was sufficient – clashing with the wishes of the park’s architect. The New York Times reported at the time:

”We felt it was redundant and did not have to be included because it was in the summary,” said Ira Bilus of Manhattan Beach, a committee member.

Besides, Mr. Bilus said, the architect, George Vellonakis, was not responsible for content. ”He was commissioned to do the architecture and the design,” he said. ”We were commissioned to do the writing.”

Mr. Vellonakis has continued to press for separate recognition of other groups. ”I really felt it was my responsibility to recognize every group and represent history properly,” he said. ”As the artist and designer, it’s my concept.”

As the project went forward, the committee initially won out with the aid of sympathetic politicians like Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who also didn’t want non-Jewish victims recognized with additional stones in the park.

“It was part of the original plans, but because of politics it never got done and I thought that was a shonda,” Landman said.

Still, Landman made a request, he said, nearly every year for approximately 15 years, which was denied by the group without justification. Finally, in the early 2000s, Landman appealed to the Parks Department and the Mayor’s Office, appealing with an Article 78 proceeding, which charged that the committee’s decision was “arbitrary and capricious,” and in violation of the state constitution.

The Parks Department established an appeals process for the memorial as a result, and created a Blue Ribbon advisory panel to review Landman’s request – ultimately greenlighting it.

The stones were quietly installed in the park in July 2012, but Landman held off having a formal dedication for a year to test the community’s reaction. He also tried to keep this weekend’s ceremony quiet, hoping to avoid the ire of opponents.

“I wanted it to be a memorial, a commemoration of those victims who died,” Landman said. “I don’t want it to be a big, loud protest. It’s done. We’ve done it. It was done last year.”

Still, a protest was had.

Led by District Leader Ari Kagan, a candidate for City Council and member of the Holocaust Memorial Committee, a crowd of about two dozen gathered before the stones’ unveiling for a series of speeches delivered largely in Russian.

Kagan has been outspoken about the placement of the stones. He did not respond to a request for an interview as this article went to publication, but did express his concerns via Facebook.

He wrote:

I am outraged that the City of New York completely ignored the opinion of the Holocaust Memorial Committee, but preferred to listen to the opinions of the International Association of Gay and Lesbian Children of Holocaust Survivors, and groups like the Communist Party – USA and LAMBDA Democrats.

The Nazis killed many people during the war, but this sacred park at Sheepshead Bay is the Holocaust Memorial Park – not the “Nazi Victims Park” or the “WWII Victims Park”. The Committee made sure that all non-Jewish victims of Nazi atrocities were acknowledged in this park.

In 2009, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn tried to impose on us their decision to install these five new markers. Unlike every other stone or inscription, these five markers were to be installed without any review by historical committees or without the involvement of the communities of South Brooklyn.

We protested and the Mayor backed off. But today -four years later- we learned that the City once again ignored many local Holocaust survivors organizations and caved in to the demands of outsiders who clearly have a political agenda.

It is very sad!

In response to a commenter on his post, Kagan suggested that honoring non-Jewish victims could dilute the persecution faced by Jews. He wrote:

You don’t put on the same level political prisoners, asocial elements and Jews. You could change your political views, but Jews could not change their Jewishness.

But at the protest itself, when some members of the crowd argued against the inclusion of homosexual victims in the park, Kagan said that their opposition has nothing to do with the broader inclusion, but with the fact that the group went over the committee’s head. He claimed that the group was not consulted on the installation of the stones, a point also made in a 2009 statement from the committee, in which they wrote:

The Holocaust Memorial Committee strongly objects to what appears to be the politically motivated manner in which this proposal has been unilaterally approved by the City and the Parks Department – without consultation or cooperation with the Holocaust Memorial Committee and without consideration for the community that has supported this Memorial since its inception – and without adhering to the provisions of the city’s own Memo of Understanding guiding the Park’s operation.

Landman, though, said the group needs to get its facts straight.

“I did it through the memorial committee for 15 years. For 15 years I was rejected. I am an attorney and a law professor. I said enough already. So I went to the government, to the mayor and to the Parks commissioner and to the Constitution of the State of New York. They cannot delegate their power to a committee, to a community group,” he said.

Landman has copies of some of his letters to the committee on his website.

The protest ended just as Landman began his ceremony, and there were few exchanges between the two groups. But a passerby who stopped to speak with the opponents and watch the ceremony began shouting anti-gay remarks at the group. In an e-mail to Sheepshead Bites, Landman later said the protesters not only had their facts wrong, but created an atmosphere of intolerance.

“Besides setting a climate where unstable people could feel comfortable riding their bikes and yelling ‘Faggot’ and anti-Obama and anti-non-Jewish slogans during our Unveiling Ceremony due to their protest, it was bizarre and embarrassing,” Landman wrote. “They are totally off base with the facts, history, laws, procedures, etc. and shouldn’t be misusing the lessons learned from the Holocaust for their personal reasons.”

Still, he said, he prefers to remember the day optimistically.

“Finally, I lived to this day that this could finally get done,” he said. “I think this is a kernel of history that’s going to grow. It has taken 20 years just to have the climate that I don’t have that many people screaming, and even the people screaming are clearly the minority.”

Richard Landman and Petra Gelbart of Roma Voice.

Landman and Robert Wagemann, a Jehovah Witness and T-4 survivor, unveil the stone dedicated to Jehovah Witnesses.

Landman with members of the Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn.

The unveiling of the stone dedicated to Roma and Sinti.

Edith Prentiss of Disabled in Action reads the text of the marker for disabled victims.

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  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    This inclusion does not negate the fact that Jews were in fact, more systematically targeted than other groups. However, large numbers of persons were victimized in a manner which sought to eradicate the existence of a class of they belonged. These people too deserve remembrance.

    • Ani

      Good point. Perhaps someone should start a fund to create a memorial for them? If that group (whomever they are) should want one that is.
      In the meantime, is there something wrong with having a memorial just for one group? It’s not discrimination if they (the one group) choose to honor whomsoever they choose to. No more so then having half a city shut down to hold a parade for one specific ethnic group, is it?

  • Anonymous

    My ancestors that got killed are more important than your ancestors that got killed!

  • Tinman

    While the majority of Holocaust victims were Jewish, the millions of others who died at the hands of the Nazis also deserve proper reverence and recognition, just as non-Jews are honored (the Righteous Among Nations) at Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust memorial.

  • Andrew Kent

    I find it distressing that supporters and protectors of a government operated public park memorializing the victims of the Holocaust would choose to exclude the millions of non-Jewish victims whose numbers made this atrocity all the more evil. Ignoring these victims is not all that different from denying that the Holocaust ever happened, or that it did not happen as history has so accurately and meticulously documented.

    Yes, it has become almost a cliche that “Hitler killed six million Jews.” But how many people, and especially young people, fully realize that Hitler and his band of psychopaths also killed more than six million other innocent people, solely because of who they were, what they believed, or because of personal characteristics that made them different from Hitler’s bizarre notion of a “master race.” Hatred and bigotry may discriminate, but pure, unmitigated evil affects and endangers us all.

    The fear among the dwindling number of opponents of such inclusion is that diluting the “Jewishness” of the Holocaust will somehow diminish the significance of antisemitism as a motivating factor, and, thus, its continuing pernicious presence in modern society. And of course there will be a few religious zealots who feel that memorializing murdered gay people will somehow conflict with Biblical admonitions against homosexuality. But the contemporary wisdom on the nature of bigotry tells us that, by showing bigotry’s common denominators, and by uniting its victims into a larger community, the bigots become the outsiders, the ones who are different, and the ones who should, and must, be marginalized into insignificance.

    Bigotry depends on the ability to divide and conquer, to foment class warfare, and to alienate people from one another so that they can not form a united opposition. Yet, by tarring entire groups with the broad brush of prejudice, the bigots also expand the pool of victims, and thus, as we saw during the civil rights movement of the sixties and beyond, the numbers, the media support, and the political and legislative responses that will eventually come back to bite them.

    Yes, it often takes extremist groups like the Westboro crazies to coalesce a united opposition (even among some fellow bigots) because their tactics offend nearly everyone and not just gay people. Yet, while no sane human being would ever minimize the extremist evil of Hitler and the Nazis, there is a risk that the horror of it all may diminish over time, especially in light of continuing modern-day atrocities like terrorism, so reminders like Holocaust memorials and museums, a broader identification with the the Holocaust’s diverse victims, and a fellowship among the descendants of its victims and survivors, will strengthen civilization’s resolve that such evil, and the mindset that made it possible, will never happen again.

    • Allen S. Popper, Esq.

      As a Jew from an Orthodox background, who is named after my Grandmother’s Brother who was brutalized by the Nazis, I am disgusted by the comments by those against the placing of the stones. Mr. Kagan in his posted comments stated that by allowing these markers, it would dilute the actions taken against the Jewish Community, by placing them in the same group as “asocial elements and political prisoners”. What the hell is he talking about? Is he talking about the mentally disabled who were murdered because of their disabilities? Are they an antisocial group? Is he talking about Gypsies who were murdered because they were gypsies? And what about political prisoners? What about the White Rose Movement? People who bravely fought Hitler, when nobody else did, and who were also sent to Concentration Camps? As a Jew, I want my people to be remembered with those types of people, and not those who did nothing.
      I am disgusted by the actions of this Committee objecting to these markers. Said objections are being done clearly for political reasons. I get very pissed off by those who use the Holocaust for political reasons.. Clearly an overwhelming majority of those persons sent to the Concentration Camps were Jews, but, there were also many people killed who were not “antisocial” but who were killed because of who they were. This includes gay people, disabled persons, gypsies and others who the Nazis thought were not the Mythic Supermen. As a Jew, I am not offended for my people to be remembered with them. The Nazis did not only kill or brutalize my family and my fellow Jews, they killed and brutalized others ..

      • BrooklynBus

        I fully agree. I can’t think of a single logical reason to deny the placement of these stones. The Holocaust Committee should be ashamed of themselves for denying this request for 15 years.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8612 Petra Gelbart

        Thank you so much for your remarks – no, it was not possible to change one’s “Gypsiness.” Being a mere 1/8 Romani sufficed for termination.

      • Shloime

        All were victims, all deserve to be remembered and honored.

  • Shameful

    As a proud Jew, I’m ashame of Mr. Kagan. This gives all of us who care for Jewish victims a bad name. Were not the Roma gassed for being Roma? Were they not subject to horrible medical experiments by Dr. Mengele and others?

    All the victims, Roma, gays, political dissidents, POWs need to be acknowledged. It doesn’t detract from anti-Semitic victimization; it adds to the horror that was the Third Reich.

    Mr. Kagan should be ashamed of himself. I guarantee you that he wouldn’t have held this demonstration if he weren’t running for office, trying to prove his homophobic credentials in a conservative neighborhood. But regardless of how we may feel about politics, we don’t support the murder of gays, nor the Roma and the POWs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8612 Petra Gelbart

      Thank you (on behalf of Romani descendants of Holocaust victims).

  • Guest

    Next up: a quota system for the stones, by race, religion, gender, sexual preference. Let the fighting begin!

    • maurice

      Yeah the holocaust was just fine–as long as they did not do it to the Jews! Take away the Jews and everything is just fine. I hate to sound insensitive but perhaps given the opportunity many (probably most of these dead Jews) would have been willing to kill their non-Jewish counterparts if the opportunity presented itself. When you put it that way dying just because you were Jew doesn’t sound so noble! They would have been just like the other Germans if they had the choice. The holocaust should teach us respect for all life and the inclusion of others. Obviously that lesson has been lost! Sadly it is at the stake of many righteous gentiles who were willing to stand for what is right.

  • Barbara

    I welcome the comments of those who point out that Hitler’s holocaust, while using the extermination of the Jews as its all-too-welcomed rallying cry, was also a crime against millions of others whose murders were at least as important to the Third Reich and much less recognized then and now because they were hidden behind the “front” of the extermination of the Jews.

    That said, I have always thought the memorial at the end of the bay is awful. To have what are effectively gravestones in what is supposed to be a public park is offensive to me. I never go there anymore. I am not opposed to a memorial at all. I think the memorial should show respect to those who died and make people think more about the atrocities that occurred during WWII without sacrificing the park as a place where residents of the area can go to enjoy a bit of time in a place it feels good to be. It doesn’t feel good to be there since that memorial was put there.

  • Local Broker

    I know that millions of others were tortured and killed but all these years I thought this was a Jewish Holocaust Memorial. Is that not the case? If it was initially made to be a Jewish Memorial then I can see why people are upset with this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8612 Petra Gelbart

      I believe that if you knew anything about the history of Romani people in the Holocaust and the scale of the race-based murders, you would never, ever find it acceptable that a public park can be allowed to include exclusively Jews (unless, perhaps, that park is in Israel). The other (non-racial) victims receive recognition just as much, and we can all benefit from the resulting education about the processes of hate, especially when it comes to gays and lesbians. But even if you restrict the definition of the Holocaust to “final solution” based on race, be aware that there was absolutely a plan for the “Final Solution of the Gypsy Question.” Unfortunately, people are very selective in how they present history.

      • Local Broker

        Again if the park was originally going to be a Jewish Memorial considering how many Jews live in this area for a very long time i can see why people would be upset. No one is saying there should not be recognition of what happened to others but to say that if you say Holocaust it cant be exclusively Jewish. The question is what was the initial idea for this memorial?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8612 Petra Gelbart

          It was meant to be a public Holocaust memorial park, not a park for “Jewish victims of the Holocaust.” It has always been a public space, not one dedicated to any particular ethnic group. The problem is that many people act as if the word Holocaust is synonymous with “Jewish Holocaust” – that is where the trouble begins. There are many Roma living in this city, so a public park commemorating the Holocaust should give commensurate representation to the other group slated for extermination on racial grounds. That is far from the case, even with the marker that was unveiled (especially since it only speaks about part of the Romani Holocaust). And there will never be appropriate “recognition of what happened to others” (BTW half a million people can hardly be lumped in under “others”); the best we “others” can hope for is that when we beg for a bit of inclusion in commemorations, the door isn’t slammed in our faces. (Ask the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, for example, how often they consult Romani scholars – in matters of any importance, the answer is never, and this despite the taxes we all pay; the resulting representation of “Gypsies” – and lack thereof — subsequently speaks for itself).

          • Local Broker

            I dont have a problem with recognizing everyone that was a victim of the Holocaust. My question was if this park was built with it being a Jewish memorial or a Holocaust memorial. An example would be Babi Yar park just a couple blocks away on Corbin and Brighton 14th. It is a memorial park with a giant Star of David engraved in the middle of it. That is a public park and is a Jewish memorial even though hundreds of thousands of non jews including your people were killed there. Are you going to go to that park and ask them to change it as well? Why did you point out that i used the word “others”? How would you want me to refer to “other” people when i was specifically talking about jews?

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      It was not to be a Jewish Monument. It is in a public space, owned by the City Of New York. Limiting the scope of the memorial to Jewish victims would be poor policy. However, the committee was composed of those who saw the Holocaust mainly as a Jewish persecution. The committees viewpoint however, is superseded by city officials who understand that a public space is supposed to be inclusive.

    • http://www.facebook.com/aemoreira81 aemoreira81

      It is a Holocaust memorial…not a Jewish Holocaust memorial. It is further sad that many Americans don’t realize that almost as many non-Jews as Jews were targeted for death by Hitler.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aemoreira81 aemoreira81

    6 million Jewish people were killed in the Holocaust, but about 5 million more were also victims of the same atrocity. They all died at the hands of the same sickos for similar reasons. A Holocaust memorial should honor all general groups slaughtered by the Nazis…not just the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. It is true that Jews were the single biggest group murdered, but they weren’t the only ones.

    Ari Kagan, shame on you! This doesn’t minimize the suffering Jews endured—it just honors other groups who endured those same atrocities.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8612 Petra Gelbart

    The Roma and Sinti were targeted just as systematically as the Jews, subject to the same race laws. Anyone who says otherwise is a selective historian or a liar. A similar proportion of Romani victims was involved as in Jewish communities. In countries like the Czech Republic, Germany, and Austria, 90 percent of the Romani population perished. The total number was at least half a million, devastating a large percentage of Europe’s Romani communities. And the estimated numbers keep rising as more research is done. Meanwhile, Romani representatives are consistently left out of Holocaust education and commemoration, from the lowest levels to the highest. The destruction had the same impact on us as on the Jews, yet we are relegated to a footnote at best. What’s ironic is that neo-Nazi activity today – every day – is targeted in Europe mostly toward Roma. Most people never bother to make the connection. Roma were usually not able to emigrate from Europe, and are threatened by Nazi ideology and violence to this day.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8612 Petra Gelbart

      And I did not mean to imply that those who were not taught truthful Holocaust history are liars (and presumably they are not historians). This is not the fault of regular Americans, it is the fault of “gatekeepers” who know the facts of the Romani Holocaust and refuse to acknowledge it properly.

  • guest

    “The Holocaust” as commonly referred to, means specifically the extermination of European Jews. So if this park is remembering “The Holocaust” as a phrase, then by definition, it is for Jews only. However, being a public park the word “holocaust” probably refers to its general definition – to any extreme devastation, in this case, WWII, in which case other groups need to be included. I’d like to see the Chinese holocaust at the hands of the Japanese in WWII included here too.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8612 Petra Gelbart

      There is no historical or moral reason why “The Holocaust” should ever refer exclusively to Jews, period. A final solution is a final solution, and it applied to Jews and “Gypsies” equally. (Just ask the late Simon Wiesenthal or anyone who has looked at primary sources. Mr. Wiesenthal said that if there had been six million Gypsies in Europe, the Nazis would have killed 6 million of them, too.) In fact, any historian worth his or her salt will define the Holocaust either as the intended extermination of all Jews and Romanies, or more broadly as including homosexuals and other victims as well. The only people still referring to the Holocaust as exclusively Jewish are those who have an interest in keeping Romani and other groups out of public commemorations.

  • levp

    Holocaust Memorial Park is a public park:
    http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/BZ05/history

    This park [...] was designated in 1986 by the City and Mayor Koch
    [...] Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden allocated $933,000 toward construction of a permanent memorial designed and built by the City.

    As a public park, it would qualify as an “agency or subdivision of the state” for the purposes of Equal protection of laws section of the New York State Constitution:
    http://www.dos.ny.gov/info/constitution.htm

    §11. No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws of this state or any subdivision thereof. No person shall, because of race, color, creed or religion, be subjected to any discrimination in his or her civil rights by any other person or by any firm, corporation, or institution, or by the state or any agency or subdivision of the state.

    Historical evidence exists that confirms significant numbers of other (non-Jewish) victims of massive Nazi genocide campaign:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust#Non-Jewish
    These include, but not limited to, Romani people, disabled and mentally ill, “The political left”, Freemasons and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Therefore, the aforementioned groups are entitled to be represented in the Holocaust Memorial Park.

    Oh, and Mr. Kagan is a jackass.

  • Mary P

    Very nice!

  • Andrew Kent

    Limiting Holocaust rememberances to its Jewish victims is like saying that Federal and State civil rights legislation should only apply to groups that experienced slavery before the Civil War or southern segregation during the century following the Emancipation.

    America, our own country, has a shameful history of stigmatizing and persecuting such ethnic minorities as blacks, hispanics, native Americans, Japanese-Americans during WWII, and numerous groups of new immigrants at various times in our history. And American women of all ethnicities weren’t allowed to vote until the year my own mother was born, more than a half century after freed slaves were granted that same right. Yet we were also big enough as a nation, as a people, to correct these mistaes, at least to the extent that they were supported by public policy, and to enact legislation and Constitutional amendments to ensure that such will never happen again.

    Oh, and Ari Kagan, of all people, should remember that millions Russians, many of them Jews and many not, were also systematically murdered by Joseph Stalin, who, in a bizarre twist of historical irony, was one of our allies in the fight against Hitler. Perhaps, instead excluding Hitler’s non-Jewish victims from a WWII Holocaust memorial, Mr. Kagan and his supporters should examine the pervasive nature of genocide in our sick world and realize that what happened to six million Jews during the Holocaust is but one stark example of what can happen, has happened, and continues to happen, when evil psychopaths ascend to power. Hitler and Stalin had millions of victims, but what we learn from their victimization that makes us a better and more tolerant and inclusive society will make them martyrs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Albers/100000203685907 Jim Albers

      Stalin was an equal opportunity killer. Suggesting that Jews were “systematically murdered” by Stalin may score political points, but its a lie.

  • jacob

    This is really just shameful! It really shows a lack of sympathy for anyone but their own group. It should have been extremely obvious that it was this type of self-concern that allowed the holocaust to happen in the first place–no one being welling to stand up on behalf of others. As mentioned earlier there were Roma and disabled who could not change who they were. But there IS EVERY REASON to remember the RIGHT kind of people who stood up based solely on principle. You mean to tell me that people who fought the nazis, help hid jews, and German Jehovah’s Witnesses who refused to view Jews as subhuman should NOT be remembered because they could change??? If these people changed who would have helped the Jews? History would be much sadder.

    I find it highly repugnant to feel the need to erase or marginalize other victims as if their holocaust was any less significant. Everyone knows about the Jews but how many know about these other courageous individuals? Should they not be known and remembered?

    i think it is embarassing that the architect (the one who came up with the concept) wasn’t even respected.

    “Mr. Vellonakis has continued to press for separate recognition of other groups. ‘I really felt it was my responsibility to recognize every group and represent history properly,’ he said. ‘As the artist and designer, it’s my concept.’”
    This is really sad that some dead bodies are more important than others.

  • Brightonresident

    What about the holocaust theat occured right here in our country, that NO ONE ever talks about — The extermination of 100 million Native Americans and the theft of their land!

  • Pingback: Sheepshead Bites » Blog Archive Mayoral Candidate Erick Salgado Says Holocaust Park Should Be For Jews Only » Sheepshead Bay News Blog

  • http://twitter.com/SupraSamus Samanta

    I see things like this quite often, not the honouring of the 1.5million Roma and Sinti who were systemically murdered but this absurd argument that remembering the Roma dead will somehow “threat to the memory of Jewish victims.” It’s like only opposing Golden Dawn because of the threat they hold towards the Jewish community (and not everyone else).

    • J.D.

      Not threatened at all. With the largest number of Jewish Holocaust survivors in the world (America), a very large amount of the survivors right here in this neighborhood, they are remembered here. Where they can see it, sit and reflect. Why would you deny them this?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Albers/100000203685907 Jim Albers

    Why would Kagan an the rest of these right-wing clowns object to remembering other victims of fascism? It wasn’t only Jews who were systematically targeted by Nazis and it doesn’t diminish the crime against Jews to acknowledge the wider net the Nazis cast.

  • Pingback: Mayoral Candidate Erick Salgado Says Holocaust Park Should Be For Jews Only | history_channel_from_the_war

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  • Mama2eight

    The holocaust continues in our country as almost 95% of children found to have Down syndrome, in prenatal testing are killed before they are born through abortion. Discrimination goes on.

    All life is sacred.

    • Pro Choice

      Because thankfully, people still have a right to choose. You however, have no right to tell others what to do with their bodies. Try again.

  • EndofDaze

    The Jews were specifically targeted. It was the first time in History that a duly elected government, had a documented policy, to exterminate every man, woman, and child, of a particular self identifying tribe, religion, or ethnic group. And their only supposed crime, was they happen to be Jewish! The remembrance does not diminish the fact, that others were targeted and murdered. However, their deaths were more because of conscience, political, affiliations, perceived gender roles, and distorted stereotypes. Additionally, it should not be forgotten, that the Nazis , were not just bad news for the Jews, but they were a curse upon all freedom loving peoples, which is why Americans, The British, Frenchmen and others of all stripes, took up arms, to defeat the menace!… What peeves me the most is that in Today’s world, many uninformed folks, when thinking of Jews, think of The Holocaust, The Black Hats, and Israel’s notion that it is only a Jewish state! I beg to differ. When I think of the Jews, I think of my five uncles, who along with three quarters of a Million other American and British Jews, and their millions of other Christian brothers, most like them, who were either Americans or British, fought together to end the Nazi and Japanese tyranny! I think of the overwhelming majority of Jews, who are not Black Hats, and believe their interpretation of Torah, and what it means to be a good Jew, is just as valid! I think of Israel as a pluralistic state, where everyone is valued as a citizen, and Jews can be there if they wish, and if not, still be full fledged and patriotic citizens, of the many lands, they choose to call home!!!

  • psrayter3

    Many people miss the point, which is NOT that non-Jewish victims of the Nazis are less worthy of “reverence and recognition” (as Tinman put it) than Jewish ones. The point is that the word “Holocaust” (or Shoah) refers specifically to the Nazi campaign to murder all the Jews of Europe and eventually the world. So a “Holocaust Memorial Park” is properly focused on the victims of that campaign.