June 24, 2014 Bardejov, Slovakia

THE DEDICATION CEREMONY

The dedication of the Bardejov Holocaust Memorial took place at 6:00Pm on Tuesday, June 24th The ceremony opened with a special arrangement of the music from the movie Schindler’s List, played  by Jozef Patkan. It was followed by an opening speech by Mr. Emil A. Fish, a native of Bardejov and the founder of the Bardejov Jewish Preservation Committee. A Holocaust survivor of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Mr. Fish spoke in both English and Slovak of the need for Holocaust education at all grade levels. As time passes, he pointed out, less and less is remembered. By teaching about the Holocaust, we help ensure that such atrocities are never repeated.

Local high school students lit a memorial candle in front of each of the fourteen Memorial Name Tablets, and a choir of local children sang in Hebrew “Every Person Has A Name,” a famous poem by Zelda Schneersohn Mishkovsky. As they sang, images of the Bardejovers and families that perished in the Holocaust flashed on a large screen.

Ms. Lesley Weiss, Chair of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, delivered a powerful speech. Her presence dignified of the ceremony and our efforts to preserve our heritage. Mr. Norman Thatcher Scharpf, Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava, spoke in both English and Slovak, stressing that we should never forget the victims of the Holocaust.

Mr. Boris Hanuščak, the Mayor of Bardejov, acknowledged the atrocities of the Holocaust and that it must not happen again. Prior to the memorial’s dedication, he accepted responsibility, on behalf of the town of Bardejov, for the maintenance of the memorial.

The Righteous of Bardejov—those individuals from Bardejov and vicinity who risked their lives and provided assistance for the survival and protection of Jews and Jewish places—were acknowledged. Their names are inscribed on one of the memorial’s five History Tablets. The ceremony concluded with El Maleh Rachamim and the Kaddish, the Jewish prayers for the dead, followed by Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem.

VIDEOS FROM THE EVENT:

Hint: Click the “closed caption” icon after the video starts playing in order to see English subtitles

 

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