‘Legacy Project’ seeks Holocaust survivors

The Holo­caust Aware­ness Mu­seum and Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter, loc­ated at 10100 Jam­is­on Ave. in the Klein JCC, is in­vit­ing the pub­lic to sup­port its so-called “Leg­acy Pro­ject.”

The mu­seum wants to film Holo­caust sur­viv­ors, lib­er­at­ors and res­ist­ors in the Phil­adelphia area to pre­serve their stor­ies so they are not for­got­ten.

The re­cor­ded stor­ies will be made avail­able to edu­cat­ors, his­tor­i­ans and fam­ily mem­bers.

Dona­tions can be made by go­ing to kick­starter.com and search­ing for “Cre­at­ing Leg­acy Videos for Holo­caust Sur­viv­ors Now!”

As a launch to the cam­paign, the mu­seum hos­ted Wit­nesses to His­tory, a pro­gram on the af­ter­noon of Jan. 19 that fea­tured Holo­caust sur­viv­or Ernie Gross and one of his lib­er­at­ors, Don Green­baum.

Gross was born in 1929 in Ro­mania. In April 1944, the Hun­gari­an oc­cu­pi­ers de­por­ted him and his fam­ily — his par­ents, five broth­ers and two sis­ters — to a ghetto for a few weeks be­fore they were de­por­ted to Aus­chwitz. After sev­er­al months, the Nazis forced Gross and thou­sands of oth­er in­mates on a death march to­ward Dachau and Kaufer­ing in Ger­many. On April 29, 1945, the U.S. Army lib­er­ated Dachau, where Gross was be­ing held. He came to the United States in 1947.

Green­baum earned the Purple Heart after be­ing wounded in Aachen, Ger­many, in Novem­ber 1944. After be­ing re­leased from the hos­pit­al, he fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He was part of the team that lib­er­ated Gross and about 32,000 oth­er pris­on­ers at Dachau.

Among those in at­tend­ance at the pro­gram were state Sen. An­thony Wil­li­ams and state Reps. Brendan Boyle and Ed Neilson.

Wil­li­ams and Boyle spoke about their bills that would re­quire the teach­ing of the Holo­caust and gen­o­cide in Pennsylvania middle and high schools. New Jer­sey, New York, Illinois, Flor­ida and Cali­for­nia have sim­il­ar laws.

Some in the Sen­ate want to elim­in­ate the man­date, and the loc­al law­makers are ur­ging people to con­tact le­gis­lat­ors across the state to lobby for the bill as it is writ­ten.

“I don’t think it’s a giv­en that this passes,” said Wil­li­ams, whose bill is in the Sen­ate Edu­ca­tion Com­mit­tee.

This school year, the Holo­caust Aware­ness Mu­seum and Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter will make present­a­tions in front of about 280 schools and or­gan­iz­a­tions.

For more in­form­a­tion, call 215-464-4701 or vis­it www.holo­caust­aware­ness­mu­seum.org ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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