“To every person, there is a name”

“To every person, there is a name”

By Joel Goldenberg, April 30th, 2014

B’nai Brith Canada held its annual ceremony on the steps of Montreal city hall Monday to remember the individual victims of the Holocaust.
Dignitaries, led by Montreal mayor Denis Coderre, read the names of the victims. Six candles representing the six million Jews killed by the Nazis were lit by St. Laurent councillor Maurice Cohen and Snowdon councillor Marvin Rotrand; Côte St. Luc councillors Dida Berku and Mitchell Brownstein; Hampstead mayor William Steinberg and wife Doris; Côte des Neiges/NDG mayor Russell Copeman and councillor Lionel Perez, and Pierrefonds-Roxboro mayor Jim Beis; Outremont councillor Mindy Pollak; and D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum. They, and Project Montréal leader Richard Bergeron, also read names.
Harvey Levine, Quebec regional director of B’nai Brith Canada, said the purpose of the ceremony is to make sure the victims of the Holocaust are never forgotten.
“We also recall all of the non-Jewish victims of the Nazis,” he added. “B’nai Brith commemorates ‘unto every person there is a name’ in the hope it will strengthen the memory and the bond between past and present intended to combat ignorance, indifference and denial of the Holocaust, and to unite the community to fight anti-Semitism and racism.”
Coderre said the community must not only never forget the Holocaust, “but do everything in our power to prevent such atrocities from happening again.
The mayor added that those who survived had to flee their homes, and many came to Canada.
“These victims and their descendants will always bear the impact of this grim chapter in human history. Their courage, determination and ability to regain their dignity, along with the ability to love, laugh and live once again is a model for all of us. Members of the Jewish community, with their extraordinary resilience, have revealed themselves to the entire world as courageous, dynamic individuals, totally committed to reconstructing their futures.”
Israeli Consul-General Joel Lion said the best way to remember is through education, “by telling the next generation what happened.”
Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz of Côte St. Luc’s Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Synagogue said “never again” is an important lesson globally and locally.
“We must vow ‘never again’ to the politics of intolerance, to the simple abridgment of rights with no purpose. This is not a political point. It’s a history lesson.”
B’nai Brith Canada honourary lifetime president Eric Bissell, a Holocaust survivor who was able to escape the Nazis with his family from Austria, thanked the mayor. Bissell pointed out 1.5 million of the Jewish Holocaust victims were children.
“This atrocity knew no end.”n



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“To every person, there is a name”