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Oakleaf High Holds First-Ever Yom HaShoah Commemorating Holocaust Survivors

arbeit_macht_frei_sign__main_gate_of_the_auschwitz_i_concentration_camp__poland___20051127.jpg
Tulio Bertorini
/
Wikimedia Commons

This May marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust.

Clay County’s Oakleaf High School is hosting the county’s first-ever remembrance ceremony tonight. Students are encouraged to attend to learn about the Nazi regime’s massacre that killed almost 11 million people — including 6 million Jews.

Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, is the day commemorating the nearly 6 million Jews who were killed during the Holocaust. The day of remembrance was inaugurated in 1953 in Israel and has spread to other countries. Oakleaf High School in Clay County has invited several Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans to speak during its first-ever Yom HaShoah event tonight.

Among the people speaking tonight is Bob Fischer. Tina Detrick, Oakleaf’s Holocaust teacher, says Fischer’s musical talent is what enabled him to survive the Holocaust.

Detrick said, “When he was young his family had him get piano lessons, and that was a blessing for him because the Germans loved entertainment. And so he would play the piano, he would sing, he would dance. He survived as a kid only because he could entertain.”

Detrick says that when her students learned about Yom HaShoah they wanted to spread awareness in the community about what happened during the Holocaust. She says the event began as an in-school event for the students, but quickly morphed into a community event with multiple speakers.

Jeri Kreier, who’s helping coordinate the event, says that now is an important time to hear and record the stories of the people who lived through that era.

Kreier said, “With the age of the survivors, we don’t know what’s going to be next year. To get a first hand account of what they’re telling us is just something that is historical.”

Clay County’s Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day is being held at the Oakleaf High School Stadium from 6:30 to 7:30 this evening and is open to the community.

Photo Credit: "Main gate of the Auschwitz I concentration camp, Poland" by Tulio Bertorini is used under  CC BY-SA 2.0.