"In their uniqueness, stories of rescue remind us all of the wide range of choices that we are capable of making as individuals. Our actions in the face of injustice of hatred always matter."
-The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment hosted a Days of Remembrance Ceremony April 17 at the Community Activities Center on Fort Detrick.
Dignitaries and local elected officials participated in a remembrance ceremony where Mr. Emanuel "Manny" Mandel, served as the guest speaker. Mr. Mandel is a survivor-volunteer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Manny shared his story as a Holocaust survivor and challenged the audience to never forget.
"During these weeks each year, many of us, the survivors, are in fact involved in these kinds of talks to familiarize the world with that which we can familiarize them with and with which they cannot be familiarized with, once we are gone," said Mandel. "I am one of the youngest survivors you will ever meet. I was born in 1936 which makes me close to 80, but I'm 79. Most of us will not be around much longer to talk about our experiences; we must never forget."
According to his bio, Manny was 7 when the Germans occupied Budapest in March 1944. Manny and his family were among a group of Jews whom Adolf Eichmann offered to trade for Allied material. In exchange for trucks and other goods, some 1,600 Hungarian Jews left Hungary by train, with the promise that they would be permitted to enter Switzerland. After difficulties in the negotiations, Manny and his family were diverted to Bergen-Belsen camp. They were taken to Switzerland by Nazi transport in late 1944, first to a Red Cross hotel near Montreux and then to a children's home in Heiden. In 1945, Manny and his mother immigrated on a British troop ship to Palestine. He moved to the United States in 1949.
During the observance, 7 candles were lit to remember the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, as well as the millions of non-Jewish victims of Nazi persecution, in a candle-lighting ceremony.
Each candle was dedicated to an important group of witnesses to the Holocaust. Ending with the lighting of one yellow candle, dedicated to us, the next generation, to remind us to carry to the flames of remembrance.
The United States Congress established the Days of Remembrance as the Nation's annual commemoration of the Holocaust. Each year, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum leads the Nation in commemorating the Days of Remembrance.
This year's theme is "Learning from the Holocaust: Choosing to Act."