Survivors, Jewish leaders, and community members gathered to observe the 34th anniversary of Kings County’s only Holocaust memorial on June 23.
The solemn gathering to commemorate the 1985 opening of Holocaust Memorial Park, located on West End Avenue in Manhattan Beach, also helped further the monument’s sacred mission — to preserve the memory and share the lessons learned from one of history’s greatest tragedies, according to the memorial’s chief steward.
“There is a need for this kind of commemoration because, it serves as an educational purpose, not just for people who don’t know anything about the Holocaust, but also for those who do,” said Barry Lituchy, vice president of the Holocaust Memorial committee. “Because the best antidote for racism and anti-Semitism and hatred is understanding what that kind of thinking leads too and where it has led to in the past.”
Holocaust Memorial Park, located between Emmons Avenue and Shore Boulevard, serves Brooklyn as both green space, tribute, and outdoor museum, featuring a beacon topped with an eternal light and surrounded by granite markers inscribed with historical names, places, and events related to the global massacre, which claimed around six million Jewish lives.
This year’s anniversary ceremony was accompanied by the installation of a new plaque honoring the family of a man killed in Aushwitz, along with discussions about the murder of Jews in the Russian Caucuses and Croatia during World War II. One of the event’s keynote speakers, Holocaust survivor Olga Lipschitz, spoke about her family’s harrowing journey aboard cattle cars to Aushwitz, when famed Nazi officer Adolf Eichman saved their lives with a well-placed $15,000 bribe.
“Creating the park was the great achievement of the holocaust memorial committee and the committee’s main job has been to maintain the park and upholding it’s goal of educating the public about what the Holocaust was and what happened,” Lituchy said.