International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Join us on January 27, 2020 as we observe International Holocaust Remembrance Day and remember the innocent six million jews and millions of other people who fell victims to Nazi persecution.
This date was chosen by the United Nations in recognition of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, and, this year, marks the 75th anniversary of its liberation.
At the same time, we remember the ordinary people who courageously and heroically expressed the very best of the human capacity for compassion and justice by risking their lives to save their fellow human beings. They demonstrated that in the midst of evil, human beings can perform remarkable acts of decency and dignity.
One such person is Gilbert Waganheim—a Jewish liberator. Gilbert will empower attendees with his story alongside his family at the start of the event.
We will pay tribute to the millions of lives lost, through a candle lighting and a commemorative reading of the names of concentration camps, dates of liberation, and a powerful words of inspiration from historical Liberators.
This reading will serve as not only a reminder of the magnitude of the atrocities, but even more so—the power of unity to liberate our communities from anti-Semitism and all forms of prejudice and bigotry.
Grateful to our community partners and Board members who will participate in the reading:
Karen Middlekauff, Holocaust Center Board Member, Partner Losey, PLLC.
Barbara Chandler-Hannibal Square Heritage Center
Betsy Swart- Bridging the Color Divide
Chris McCullion-Holocaust Center Board Member, CFO City of Orlando
Dr. Ruth Edwards-Winter Park Public Library
Erin Sullivan-Orange County Library System
Felicia Smith- Community Leader
Melissa Braillard-Garden Theatre
Michael Perkins-Orange County History Center
Rachel Allen-Valencia Peace and Justice Institute
Gilbert Waganheim had just turned 21 and was living in a large Jewish community in eastern Baltimore when he was called up to serve in the U.S. Army and fight the Germans in World War II.
“The big powers decided that the Russians would occupy Austria,” Waganheim said. “Patton hated the Russians, so he ordered us into Austria, where we fought. … At one point, our reconnaissance battalion was going down a road and … there was a jeep with white flags coming toward them. He was the (German) commander of the Mauthausen concentration camp. He was afraid of the Russians, so he surrendered to the Americans. We went into the concentration camp and liberated the camp.”
Through a conversation with his family, hear more about Gilbert’s experience and how he helped deliver a special letter for a camp Survivor.