A night to remember: Brooklynites of all faiths gather in Flatlands to listen to harrowing stories from Holocaust survivors

Holocaust survivors pose with the Fortt Hamilton High School Tiger Battalion ROTC Color Guard.
Photo By Steve Solomonson

Brooklynites gathered in Flatlands for a “Night of Remembrance” on May 30, listening to the heart-wrenching stories of Holocaust survivors.

Hosted by the Bridge Multicultural Advocacy Project, the ceremony brought together 140 Kings County residents of all faiths for a solemn night of reflection, said the group’s leader, who organized the event at 1894 Flatbush Ave.

“It went beautifully,” said Mark Appel. “We only have 40,000 survivors left in New York State, so its important to do things like this, particularly with everything going on today.”

One speaker, Werner Reich, told the audience of his 11-month stay in a Czechoslovakian concentration camp before he was transferred to Auschwitz and eventually liberated by American forces.

Keynote speaker Werner Reich poses with a commemorative plaque at the Night of Remembrance event.
Photo By Steve Solomonson

Sally Frishberg gave attendees a harrowing account of her two-year hideaway in an attic in Poland as Nazi forces pillaged the country, before she reached a ship to take her to the free shores of the Unites States.

Frishberg offered a story of how, aboard the ship, she found comfort in the arms of a woman she did not know.

American Association of Invalids and Veterans of WWII President Leonid Rozenberg at the Holocaust rememberance at the Bridge.
Photo By Steve Solomonson

“I suddenly realized that somebody cares,” said Frishberg. “She was a black American. I was a child — a European Jew. But there was, I think, this understanding of human need.”

Appel said events like these remind us of our need to understand our common humanity.

Holocaust survivor Sally Frishberg poses with her honorary plaque.
Photo By Steve Solomonson

“In order to understand how to get along with different communities, we have to be alert to any rhetoric against any community, from Jewish people, gay people, black people, whoever,” he said.

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at twitter.com/aidangraham95.

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