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Jews reflect on Holocaust Memorial Day

By Jamie Stover, Reporter, JStover@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 27 2014 09:03:59 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 28 2014 12:15:08 PM CDT

Holocaust Memorial Day

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

The Jewish community is reflecting on one of the deadliest genocides in history.

Six million Jews were killed by German Nazis and their collaborators in the Holocaust.

Hundreds gathered at the Jewish Community Center at 702 N. 22nd St. in Allentown Sunday night as part of Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.

"My father is a Holocaust survivor. He walked out of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp," said Mark Goldstein, executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley.

Goldstein said Holocaust Remembrance Day is an important day for people around the world.

"It offers an opportunity for all of us, Jews and non-Jews, to remember what happens when hatred and prejudice goes unchecked," Goldstein said.

Those in attendance said while it's important to remember what happened 70 years ago in Europe, it's also important not to forget what happened recently.

"We just saw what happened in Kansas City a few weeks ago --where someone who had hatred for Jews actually murdered non-Jews. We each have individual responsibilities to combat hatred, bigotry, anti-Semitism and racism," Goldstein said.

Three people were killed in a shooting rampage at two Jewish centers outside of Kansas City earlier this month.

In Hunterdon County, New Jersey, three businesses were vandalized with swastikas just last week.

Goldstein said images like those show that hatred still exists today.

"It's important for us to rally when that kind of bigotry and hatred exist," Goldstein said.