Richard Landman and representatives from the Roma community unveiled the new stone honoring Roma and Sinti victims at a May 5 ceremony.

Salgado (Source: Erick Salgado for Mayor)

Long-shot mayoral candidate Erick Salgado is entering the fray over Sheepshead Bay’s Holocaust Memorial Park, blasting the Parks Department for allowing the addition of stones memorializing non-Jewish victims.

A press release issued last week to Russian and Jewish news outlets but obtained by Sheepshead Bites quotes Salgado calling the installation of five new stones for non-Jewish victims “a betrayal of the community and even worse, disrespectful to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust.”

The stones, which honor groups including the disabled, Roma, homosexuals and Jehovah’s Witnesses, were dedicated during a May 5 ceremony marred by a protest led by City Council candidate and Holocaust Memorial Committee member Ari Kagan. The protesters claimed that the group of activists who successfully pushed the new stones through had pulled an end-run around the committee, by going through the Parks Department.

Richard Landman, the gay son of Holocaust survivors who spearheaded the initiative for the stones, said that those allegations are phony, and that he had attempted to go through the committee and was repeatedly denied – with no explanation – over the course of 15 years. Landman, an attorney, complained to the city 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 installed in June 2012, and dedicated on May 5, 2013.

But Salgado, a conservative reverend from Staten Island, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor, sided with Kagan and the committee, claiming that the Parks Department should have ceded the decision on the stones to the local committee, in accordance with their Memorandum of Understanding.

“It is of great concern that a bureaucracy such as the Parks Department would take action that is counter to the community’s wishes, especially when it involves the memory of the six million who perished in the Holocaust and the thousands of Holocaust survivors and their families who visit the memorial each year,” Salgado said. “Was the proper decision pushed to the side by political concerns?”

Here’s the press release in full:

May 8, 2013

Mayoral Candidate Erick Salgado Blasts Parks Department’s Action

Controversial Memorial Stones Installed in Holocaust Memorial Park Without Community’s Approval

Mayoral Candidate Erick Salgado has termed the New York City Parks Department’s move to install five controversial memorial stones in Sheepshead Bay’s Holocaust Memorial Park, “a betrayal of the community and even worse, disrespectful to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust.”

Salgado was referring to the Parks Department’s installation of large stones with inscriptions memorializing such groups as asocial elements (alcoholics and lesbians), political prisoners, Jehovah’s Witnesses and homosexuals. The inclusion of these stones was contrary to the wishes of the Board of the Holocaust Memorial Committee, which under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Parks Department has been administering the memorial since its dedication in 1997.

The five stones were installed unceremoniously last July, but an unveiling ceremony was held Sunday by several organizations from outside the community.

“It is of great concern that a bureaucracy such as the Parks Department would take action that is counter to the community’s wishes, especially when it involves the memory of the six million who perished in the Holocaust and the thousands of Holocaust survivors and their families who visit the memorial each year. Was the proper decision pushed to the side by political concerns?” Salgado asked.

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  • levp

    Salgado, a conservative reverend from Staten Island

    ‘Nuff said.
    WWJD, reverend?

  • Lisanne!

    The “community’s wishes”? Has he come out and asked people? Or is he projecting his own narrow-minded views on the rest of us?

    • Guest

      You are in no position to call anyone else in this forum narrow-minded, ma’am. Your opinions wreak of it constantly.

      • Lisanne!

        And I am supposed to take the opinion of someone who doesn’t identify themselves seriously? I think not.

  • Mary P

    I guess not being Jewish I am confused. I thought Holocaust was the internment and murder of innocents by the Nazis before and during WWII…I know that many many millions of Jewish people were killed, but there were also millions of other undesirables killed also. I do not think that a public park should be limited by a narrow definition of Holocaust. The fact that it is a public park, means that all are welcome… JMHO

    • Bklyn11235

      You should learn more about this dark mark in the world’s history, and who were put into ghetto and auschwitz wearing a yellow Star of David. So yes, this park should be solely to remember the atrocities committed against the Jews, not Jehovas witness, etc.

      • levp

        Before asking someone else to learn history, perhaps you should do the same yourself:

        Fuck, this makes me angry.

        • Lisanne!

          Makes me angry as well. People can’t limit themselves to accepting that some things happened while ignoring the fact that other acts, just as heinous, occurred as well. It’s just wrong.

        • PayPaul

          Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

          Here’s another well known set of verses we should all live by:

          When the Nazis came for the communists,

          I remained silent;

          I was not a communist.

          When they locked up the social democrats,

          I remained silent;

          I was not a social democrat.

          When they came for the trade unionists,

          I did not speak out;

          I was not a trade unionist.

          When they came for the Jews,

          I remained silent;

          I wasn’t a Jew.

          When they came for me,

          there was no one left to speak out.

          The holocaust for too long has been used as the sole property of one group of people by an even smaller subset of that same people. The truth is far worse than painted by that subset. This rightwingnut diminishes the sufferings of all the victims of the holocaust including his own people. Human suffering is HUMAN suffering, period.

          • Mary P

            That is so true.

      • ES

        The dark mark in the world’s history that you speak of grows even darker and more vast when a person alters or erases facts. I offer you a quote from the poet Heinrich Heine: “Dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen” (“Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.”) I respectfully implore you to please read more about the Holocaust and about all who were persecuted. While the vast majority were Jews, including members of my own family, countless millions of Russians, Poles, Slavs, Romani and others whom Hitler and the Third Reich deemed “undesirable” were slaughtered too (as many other commenters before me have also pointed out).

    • levp

      Correct on all counts. Non-exclusive nature of Nazi genocide, plus public status of the park, plus New York State Constitution equal rights clause equal memorial for all.

  • Verochka

    Please correct me if I am wrong. Why this park. I think we
    have plenty of parks in NYC where they could install stones for disabled, Roma,
    homosexuals and Jehovah’s Witnesses. So
    again, why this particular park?

    This Holocaust Memorial Park was established as remembrance
    of 6 million Jews perished during WW2.

    • levp

      You might benefit from a previous discussion on this same subject:

      Many eloquent appeals have been made in that thread.

      Instead of asking “Why this park?”, we should be asking “Why not?”

      As I wrote in that other thread (I know, bad style to quote oneself, but this is for lazy readers’ public benefit):
      Holocaust Memorial Park is a public park:

      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:

      §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:
      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.

    • Dmitriy Em

      Hey maybe you just don’t want to admit that you’re homophobic and racist(not entirely new for an eastern european zionist jew) and just don’t want to be associated with anyone else but other Jews who played the same holocaust card over and over and over in all debates. But I know YOU are the biggest victim.

    • Dmitriy Em

      Of course it’s entirely irrelevant because including other people would be offensive wouldn’t it?
      After all there aren’t any gays, ethnic minorities or disabled people in the “Russian Community”, right?

    • Andy

      that’s because Jews were not the only people targeted and murdered by the Nazis during the annihilation campaign known as Holocaust, and no one has the monopoly on the memory of this death and suffering

  • Brightonresident

    The Park is called Holocaust Mememorial Park. Therefore it should honor all who perished in the Holocaust!

    • BayBoy

      I agree with you. It should honor all who perished.

    • Mary P

      I agree… if it was a private park and called The Jewish Victims of the Holocaust Park….then I would say no… but in a public park, everyone who suffered should be remembered.

  • Gregory

    here is why… Mr. Salgado can play the part too, tailoring his message to the local Russian community’s strong Zionist tendencies with Mr. Gregory Davidzon’s help.

    • Gregory

      now put it all together and you will see that Davidzon is pushing Kagan and Salgado, Salgado is supporting Kagan, and Kagan is supporting Salgado, because Davidzon says so! Kagan even left Liu’s office because of his support for Salgado for Mayor.

      • Mary P

        like a vicious circle!

  • sheepshead fish

    dirty greedy jews at it again

    • levp

      Angry troll is angry, oh well

  • winson

    is this guy an idiot? Not everyone who died in the Holocaust was a Jew!

    • Lew from Brooklym

      Mr. Salgado is pandering in a deep desire to find some relevance.
      I am a proud Jew and understand that the holocaust was predominantly about the murdering of 6 million Jews by Nazis. However, it is not ALL about that and the lesson the world need to learn in part is that we have to stand up for our brothers and sisters as we would stand up for ourselves. Acknowledging that important fact is the park is appropriate and should be an affront to nobody.
      Lew from Brooklyn

  • 32r23

    Jews don’t have a monopoly on the holocaust. It’s even worse for the other “undesirables” because people don’t even know know they existed. I’m Jewish and I think the mayoral candidate is a moron!

  • PayPaul

    If I can be so bold as to suggest a final note on this: We need to cease pandering to this panderer.