Capitol event honors survivors, liberators

Holocaust survivors and WWII veterans who helped liberate concentration camps will be honored in Sacramento during a ceremony at 12 p.m. Monday, April 19.

More than 40 survivors, veterans and their guests from around the state are expected to attend, sharing stories of survival and memorializing those who lost their lives. During the event in the Capitol, Assembly Concurrent Resolution 31, which formally proclaims April 12 to April 18 as California Holocaust Memorial Week, will be presented on the Assembly floor.

The ceremony is part of the state Assembly’s annual Holocaust Memorial Project, and will be hosted by Assemblymembers Ira Ruskin (D-Redwood City) and Marty Block (D-San Diego).

“It’s vital that we keep and share this knowledge — that we teach our children and future generations that acts of heroism during the Holocaust serve as a powerful example of how our nation and our citizens can and must respond to acts of hatred and inhumanity,” Ruskin said.

Rabbi Denise Eger, founding rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami in West Hollywood  and vice president of the Southern California Board of Rabbis, will be the keynote speaker and chaplain.

In addition to the annual ceremony, students interview survivors and write essays about their Holocaust experiences. The essays are bound into books and distributed to ceremony participants, as well as to students and schools, survivors and veterans, legislators, libraries and community organizations. This is the first year that the book of essays includes stories of World War II veterans who liberated concentration camps.          

For more information, call Ruskin’s office at (650) 691-2121.