Residents at Gurwin Jewish-Fay J. Lindner Residences assisted living community honored victims of the Nazi Holocaust with a candle lighting vigil and ceremony on Friday.
“International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a time to honor the 6 million Jews who were killed during the Holocaust and those who survived of one of the darkest periods in history,” said Stuart B. Almer, president and CEO of Gurwin Healthcare System. “It is an especially important day of reflection for our Gurwin residents, many of whom experienced unspeakable atrocities firsthand and are compelled to share their stories.”
During the ceremony, 13 residents lit a candle to honor those who were murdered.Two shared their stories of survival.
At 97 years old, Polish-born Cilia Borenstein recalls the horrors the Nazis perpetrated against her at the Auschwitz concentration camp. She is the only member of her family to survive the Holocaust.
Rose Ashkenazy was 11 years old out the outset of World War II. She and her family fled Poland and lived in the woods near Ukraine to hide from the Nazis, surviving the outdoors on little food and with just the clothing on their backs. Neighboring houses provided small amounts of food for the refugees, helping to keep them alive until the war ended.
“We tell our stories of survival to keep the memories of our loved ones alive and to prevent this from happening again,” said Borenstein. “There are only a few of us left and it is important to remind others of our experiences during the Holocaust.”