Brooklyn remembers: Hundreds gather in Sheepshead Bay for annual Holocaust memorial event

Councilman Chaim Deutsch joined the audience at an annual memorial event at Holocuast Memorial Park.
Photo by Erica Price

Hundreds of solemn Brooklynites gathered in Sheepshead Bay for the 16th annual “No One Has Forgotten Nothing” Holocaust memorial event on Sunday, which featured a touching tribute to Jewish survivors of the mass atrocity, according to the event’s organizer.

“This year, we created a little monument by getting Holocaust survivors together. They put handprints on a stone,” said Svetlana Gubenko. “We were trying to… capture the memory of the Holocaust survivors for future generations.”

This year’s event — held at Holocaust Memorial Park on the aptly named World War II Hero’s Way — brought together around 300 survivors, veterans, and Brooklynites spanning multiple generations to celebrate their common humanity, said one attendee.

“It is just beautiful to see the community coming together,” said Irene Sirota. “Here we are, gathering to remember the past and celebrate the future.”

Sirota, whose father survived Hitler’s reign of terror, said the annual event served as a stark reminder to successive generations about the important lessons of the past.

From left, Michael Sirota, Davian Gekman, Irene Sirota.
Photo by Erica Price

“My father made it a personal message to make sure that my son and daughter understand,” she said. “And [to] make sure that we stand up for who we are, and make sure it never happens again.”

Several religious leaders and local politicians attended the event — including New York State Attorney General Letitia James, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, and councilmen Chaim Deutch and Mark Treyger — each making speeches as tribute to the memory of those lost.

The event also featured a writing competition, offering local wordsmiths a chance to see their memorializing work published, according to Gubenko, who helped award the winner with a heart-wrenching collection stories from childhood survivors.

“This year, the book that was presented is a collection of the essays called ‘The Holocaust Through the Eyes of Children,’” he said.

This year’s proceedings fall just before Rosh Hashanah, which begins on Sept. 29, marking the beginning of the Jewish New Year.

A woman mourns at one of the granite markers that bear the names of those who suffered during the Holocuast.
Photo by Erica Price

Reach reporter Chandler Kidd at ckidd@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–2525. Follow her at twitter.com/ChanAnnKidd.

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