SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Throughout the Bay Area and around the world, Holocaust survivors and their families and communities on Monday marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz – the largest of the Nazi concentration camps – toward the end of World War II.
“It is our responsibility to remember those who did not survive,” said Eva Rajna Lippmann whose father Jussi narrowly avoided being sent to a concentration camp in his native Hungary during the war. Eva says her father’s aunt and uncle and two cousins were murdered by the Germans in a death camp.
Eva says the International Holocaust Day of Remembrance is a call to activism and solidarity to all people who are victims of discrimination and violence.
“We are all responsible for each other. And we say this can never happen again, we don’t mean never again for just the Jews,” Eva says.
For years, Eva says her father Jussi thought it was vitally important that he share his story of surviving the Holocaust. She says Jussi believed remembrance was an essential part of the collective promise never to allow a tragedy like the Holocaust to occur again. And with her father now in fragile health, she says the responsibility of remembrance now falls to her.
On January 27, 1945, the Soviet Union Red Army liberated Auschwitz, widely considered to be the worst of the German death camps. Jewish-Americans say 75 years later the date is important not merely as an historical footnote but as a reminder of the cruelty humanity is capable of and the efforts required to combat it.
“The reason that I say that the Holocaust is still a presence in our lives is that anti-Semitism, bigotry, hatred are all too alive and well today in our own communities and communities around the world,” said Rabbi Hugh Seid-Valencia with the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos.