Holocaust survivors Beth and Martin Lewin look on after lighting a candle and reading a passage from an 11-year-old Auschwitz victim during a candle-lighting ceremony this morning. (Photo by Derek Gee / Buffalo News)
BUFFALO -- Six candles burned this morning in the office of Erie County Executive Chris Collins as local community leaders met to remember the 6 million Jews murdered in the Nazi Holocaust.
The solemn ceremony marks the upcoming Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday.
Irwin Gelman, president of the Holocaust Resource Center, told about 25 community members gathered in Collins' office this morning that everyone must be responsible for "bringing the lessons of memory to bear in our world."
Today, Gelman said, genocide continues in places like Darfur.
"Indifference to genocide and human rights abuses that have and are being committed cannot be tolerated," Gelman said. "We have a moral obligation to stand up, speak out and take action. Remembrance of the past must always influence our course for the future."
Collins and Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown issued a joint proclamation during the event declaring the week of April 11 to 18 "The Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Nazi Holocaust."
A Yom Hashoah commemoration, "Children's Voices from the Holocaust," will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the Jewish Community Center, 2640 North Forest Road, Getzville. The observance will include a reading by area students, a memorial candle lighting and the Temple Beth Zion Children's Choir.
View a portion of Gelman's remarks in this video of the event: