The rise of antisemitism is increasing as well as the ages of our Holocaust survivors. It is for this reason, that the Marches of Remembrance will be held in over 150 cities worldwide this year to give the public a rare chance to hear primary source testimonies from survivors before they are gone. There will be no "shutdown" this year for the Marches. These survivors’ testimonies give us hope during our present world virus crisis. These survivors experienced the virus of antisemitism that murdered 6 million Jews.
Bill Orlin will speak in Houston at Kings Harbor and share his riveting account of how he was spared from the certain death of Hitler's Final Solution. Only seven years old when Nazi troops invaded his native Poland, he and his family watched as the Nazis destroyed their city and began their policies of persecution. His entire village was forced into a 50-mile march, suffering abusive humiliation along the way. His family eventually escaped from Europe, and Bill made a new life in the United States, serving in the army during the Korean War. His difficult childhood and journey to Houston taught him valuable life lessons.
On April 11, from 2-4 p.m. in Kingwood, the public is invited to remember the two thirds of European Jewry that were murdered and celebrate the lives of the one third of European Jewry who survived, despite Hitler's plans to eradicate the Jews from Europe. The 1-2 p.m. pre-event includes music by the Peitzman family, the Kingwood Middle School Acapella Choir and a dance, featuring Dr. Rachel Towns of Care for Women in Kingwood. There will be more music and dance at the opening ceremonies and closing services, along with a celebration of life at the finale. Holocaust survivors Bill Orlin and Ruth Seinfeld and their families will gather with local dignitaries and government leaders including Israeli Consul General to the Southwest Gilad Katz and Vice Consul Yuval Derry, Vice Consul Michael Ott (acting as Consul General of Germany), former US Congresswoman Debbie Riddle and Humble Mayor Merle Aaron. University and lead educators, students, liberator descendants, and community leaders such as Doug Stringer of Somebody Cares America will also be in attendance.
Pastoral host Frank Mazzapica of New Covenant Church in Humble is mobilizing his entire church to paint Upstander Stone Project rocks (which include names, ages and locations of death of children murdered in the Holocaust). They will be bringing the stones to the march location, which will be their resting place at the Holocaust Garden of Hope.
Besides remembering and honoring those who perished in the Holocaust and those who survived, those who served as liberators and those who rescued members of the various groups targeted for persecution, March of Remembrance events educate the public regarding the perils of indifference, prejudice, and persecution of any people group. The March of Remembrance is an annual memorial walk that began in 2007 on Yom HaShoah (Day of Holocaust Remembrance). The March serves to give survivors a voice, offer opportunity for reconciliation (between survivors and descendants of German Nazi perpetrators), and take a stand against modern-day antisemitism. That day is chosen as a clear sign against antisemitism and as a powerful symbol of what happens when people remain silent about indifference and prejudice. The March of Remembrance is an American expression of the March of Life (Europe).
The Kingwood walk will be 8/10 of a mile and families, young and old alike, are invited. Registration and parking are free, as well as the pre-event from 1-2 p.m. filled with music, free t shirts and family-friendly social distancing.
One and a half million stones are being painted by volunteers from corporations, schools, clubs, churches, nursing home, etc. throughout Texas and beyond for the Holocaust Garden of Hope Upstander Stone Project. Each stone will bear the name of a child that was murdered during the Holocaust. The Holocaust Remembrance Association will provide a free bag with stones, paint, and the names of 20 children who were murdered during the Holocaust.
Sponsors for the event include:
Holocaust Garden of Hope
Somebody Cares America, Doug Stringer
New Covenant Church, Pastor Frank Mazzapica
RE/MAX Kingwood, Naomi Tonsul
The Ark Bakery & Café, Christine and Stephen Ege
The Nathaniel Center
City on the Hill
Senior Source Medicare Insurance, Mitch Jerome
Kingwood Family Dentistry, Dr. Mosby