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Barbara Goszer, Holocaust survivor. Photo by Rhonda Spivak.


By Rhonda Spivak

B’nai Brith’s League For Human Rights  held  its annual “UNTO EVERY PERSON THERE IS A NAME”  Holocaust Remembrance program, which is held nationally,  to perpetuate the memory of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust through public recitation of their names.

Fourty–six people, including Minister of Water Stewardship Christine Melnick, Minister of Labour and Immigration, Jennifer Howard, Minister of Innovation, Energy and Mines, Sharon Blady, MLA for Kirkfield Park and Dr. Jon Gerard, Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party, all took turns reading names of those murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust. The remembrance ceremony was held in the Manitoba Legislative Building.

All together there were several thousand names read in the two hour ceremony attended by many people. The names were transcribed from the Holocaust Memorial Monument on the south-west grounds of the Legislative Building. Those names represent victims of the Holocaust, whose families and descendents came to  Manitoba.

“Reading the names is a way to personalize the individual tragedy of those who died and those who survived.  We have been holding this program for 21 years  and every year it is as powerful as the year before,” Alan Yusim, Director of B’nai Brith Canada’s Mid West Region.

After candle lighting, Gustovo Levy, who has a beautiful voice sang a moving rendition of Shma Elohai.

Jeff Lieberman, whose father is a Holocaust survivor, was the program chair of the event.

“My father has always had a difficult time discussing what happened to him and his family.  My cousin in Israel told me that my Zaida was a leader in the Jewish community in their town in Poland and that the Nazis used him and two others as examples and hung them on a street.  His [my father’s] mother, 8 brothers and a sister were all killed later. My father must have been very strong mentally as he withstood and survived.  I don’t believe that anyone can understand what he went through,” he told the Winnipeg Jewish Review.

Aron Lieberman, Jeff’s father, was visibly choked up when he explained that “ I was 15 years old when I was taken away to a  farm to work, as a labourer. That was the last time I saw my family.  My older brother was married and had a baby. But I can’t remember the name of the baby.”

Josh Lieberman, Aron’s grandson who was one of five students from Gray Academy who read names.
Aron Lieberman
Holocaust survivor Aron Lieberman.
Photo by Rhonda Spivak.

Gray Academy Students who participated.
Gray Academy Students who participated. Photo by Rhonda Spivak.
Barbara Goszer, was there with her daughter-in-law and her granddaughter Sarah Goszer, a student at the Gray Academy of  Jewish education.

As Goszer, who read a long list of the many members of her family  who perished,  told the Winnipeg Jewish Review, ‘ I read the names of  my mother, my father, sister and cousins, grandfather, uncles and aunts.”

She added I was only nine years old. I don’t even know all the names [of all my extended family].I never met them.”


Rita Margolis, fought back tears as she read the names of many members of her family who were murdered in the Holocaust.

“On my father’s side two of his brothers were Rabbis. My father studied Torah every day.  My mother lost her father , brothers, aunts and uncles”

Sharon Love, read names on behalf of the Group for Yiddish Heritage, ‘We are remembering a generation of people whose mother tongue was Yiddish,” she said.

Others who read names were Holocaust survivors, children of Holocaust survivors,  pastors, educators, and people affiliated with human rights organizations, Jews and non-Jews alike.

As Francie Winograd read names, there were no doubt many in the audience who thought of her late father, Phillip Weiss, who was such a passionate advocate of Holocaust education.
Rita Margolis
Rita Margolis outside Legislature.
Photo by Rhonda Spivak.

As the names were read out, one after the other, the list truly seemed to be endless. The program became more impactful as the names accumulated, and participants sat in silence.

“That is the effect that this program is designed to give—it is an entryway into beginning to comprehend the horror of the Holocaust and the devasting effect it has had on the Jewish people.  We are a people who are still scarred from this,” Yusim said. Rabbi  Alan Green, Spiritual Leader of Congregation Shaarey Zedek, recited El Maalei Rachamim and Kaddish. He referred to the words of  the Ba’al Shem Tov, the founder of Chasidism,  saying that the participants of this remembrance service had fulfilled the Ba’al Shem Tov’s dictum, “in remembrance lies the roots of redemption.’ 

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.