Holocaust victims and survivors remembered by City of Virginia Beach mayor

May 24, 2019

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Elie Wiesel poignantly stated, “to forget the Holocaust is to kill twice.” Thus, “we must bear witness [for] the living and the dead.”

As Lisa Bertini, Holocaust Commission chair, said at the annual Yom Hashoah commemoration on May 1 at Temple Israel, “…for the Commission, EVERY day is Holocaust Remembrance Day.”

Yom Hashoah is an internationally recognized holiday on the Jewish calendar. In recognition of Yom Hashoah, the City of Virginia Beach issued a proclamation of remembrance, signed by Mayor Dyer, naming April 28 through May 5, 2019, Holocaust Remembrance Week.

The proclamation says, “in Virginia Beach, in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and in honor of the survivors as well as the rescuers and liberators, I call upon all citizens to work to promote human dignity and to confront and reject hate.”

It is with the help of Hampton Roads cities and leadership that the Holocaust Commission can fulfill this calling and its critical mission of educating others about the Holocaust.

For many years, along with the Community Relations Council, the Commission has sponsored the Virginia Beach Police Departments’ “rookie” training class trip to the Virginia Holocaust Museum. During this trip, new police officer learn of the importance of the police keeping the rights of the people in mind, and not just the rights of the city or state, as they learn what happened in Germany when the police lost sight of whom they were meant to serve and protect. This can only help improve our city services.

The Commission and its programs encourage people of all ages to stand up for moral courage and justice, and to speak out against hatred and indifference. People who do not remain silent in the face of injustice and indifference to the plight of others, will shape the future for good.

Bertini says, “The Commission thanks Mayor Dyer and the City of Virginia Beach, for recognizing the importance of remembering history, and learning from its lessons.”

Ciara Whitty and Elena Baum

Letter to the Editor