Huntington Commemorates Anne Frank

Anne Frank, the Jewish teenager whose diary inspires millions decades after her death in the Holocaust, was commemorated  Wednesday at Huntington Town Hall.

Town officials, religious leaders and others heard from Gail Sheryn Kastenholz, a Huntington Station resident, whose parents survived the Holocaust, and who described her own family’s losses and the need for continuing education on the Nazi terror and crimes.

“Only when I became an adult did I truly understand all they had lost and al they had found,” she said of her parents, who survived after escaping a Polish ghetto and being hidden by a farmer in a barn with 18 other Jews.

Kastenholz, who is a Holocaust educator, said, “History is a tool and a guide to a better future, where all are treated with respect and differences are celebrated. Bias, prejudice, indifference and disrespect cannot become normailized.”

Frank, who was born in Germany, was relocated to the Netherlands with her family as the Nazis rose to power, and remained in hiding with her family until they were discovered in August 1944. She, her sister and her mother all died in concentration camps. While in hiding in Amsterdam, she authored her diary, which has become a lesson in understanding to people around the world.

Also participating were Rabbi Beth Klafter, Temple Beth David, Commack, Rabbi Yakov Saacks, The Chai Center, Dix Hills and Cantor Steven Walvick, East Northport Jewish Center, as well as Huntington Supervisor Ed Smyth, who oversaw the service, Councilwoman Joan Cergol, Councilmen Sal Ferro and David Bennardo, tax receiver Jillian Guthman, State Assemblyman Keith Brown, Town Clerk Andrew Raia, and State Sen. Mario Mattera.

 

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