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Premier Greg Selinger and Ben Cohen, President, Jewish Federation of Winnipeg

Mayor Sam Katz

Cantor Tracy Kasner-Greaves, Premier Greg Selinger, Hon Vic Toews, Mayor Sam Katz, Gabbai Bill Weissmann, Rabbi Alan Green

Alan Yusim, B'nai Brith




by Rhonda J. Prepes, P. Eng. May 4, 2011

Over 250  people attended this year’s Annual Public Memorial Service for Yom Hashoah/ Holocaust Memorial Day put on by the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg at the site of the Holocaust Monument, where the names of over 3000 Holocaust victims are inscribed. These are the names, family members and friends of Holocaust survivors who came to Manitoba. The legislature of Winnipeg was the first in Canada to provide a designated space for a Holocaust Memorial.

The touching event was attended by over 250 people including the Premier Greg Selinger, Mayor Sam Katz, MP's, MLA's rabbis, other dignitaries, Holocaust survivors and the general community.

The colours were presented by the General Monash Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion and the crowd was entertained by the singing talents of grades 5 and 6 from Brock Corydon School, grades 2 to 5 from Margaret Park School, Alexandra Smolyaninov, JCFS Senior’s Choir, Belle Millo, and Cantor Tracy Kasner-Greaves.

Premier Greg Selinger delivered the proclamation of Yom Hashoah and brought greetings from the provincial legislature. He spoke about his powerful visit to Yad Vashem in Israel last year where he and his wife saw all the names and photos of the people whose lives had been lost in the Holocaust.

The Honourable Vic Toews, MP for Provencher, Minister of Public Safety and regional Minister for Manitoba brought greetings from the province of Manitoba.

Toews said, “The extermination of millions of Jewish people as well as many others during the Holocaust was a crime against all of human kind… We also renew our commitment to fight against Holocaust denials and the evils of anti-Semitism. The government of Canada is committed to ensuring that the Holocaust is not forgotten.”

Mayor Sam Katz, himself the child of Holocaust survivors, delivered a message on behalf of the City of Winnipeg.

“For me, today is for my mother Zena, and my father Chaim, who by the grace of g-d were spared from death in the camps. It is for every member of each of their families and the six million others who were not spared… It is important that we never forget the lessons of the Holocaust,” said Katz.

Belle Millo, Chair of the  Jewish Heritage Centre's Freeman Family Holocaust Education Centre, and five survivors lit six memorial candles to remember the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

Joe Riesen, Chair of the Holocaust Awareness committee of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and a Holocaust survivor laid flowers at the foot of the Holocaust memorial.

In concluding, Rabbi Alan Green gave a final kaddish prayer and Gabbai Bill Weissmann blew the ram’s horn.

On May 2, 2011 here in Winnipeg and throughout the world, victims of Nazism were remembered and their names read aloud by Holocaust survivors, by family members of victims of the holocaust, and by prominent and private citizens.
For the past eighteen years, The League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Midwest Region has presented this program, held in the Manitoba Legislative building, in honour of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.
This year between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. with an approximate attendance of 100, the names of Holocaust victims that are inscribed on the monument at the Manitoba Legislature were read aloud. These names are of individuals and families who perished in the Holocaust whose survivors and families came to Manitoba. They and their children and grandchildren have contributed greatly to every facet of life in our community and province.
By personalizing the individual tragedies of the Jewish victims of Nazi Germany and its collaborators, this project counters persistent efforts by enemies of the State of Israel and the Jewish people to deny the reality of the Holocaust and attempts to restore some dignity to those who were stripped of their identities and robbed of their lives.

 “Unto Every Person There is A Name” takes pride in the fact that by advocating the personalization of the Jewish tragedy, it has gained wide recognition in Israel and around the Jewish world as hundreds of Jewish communities now participate in this project. As time passes and fewer witnesses remain, it is of great importance to create a personal link between the Jewish people today and those who perished under the Nazi genocidal regime.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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