The Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus hosted a special event Sunday to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
A special museum tour walked attendees through the nation's first freestanding museum dedicated to the memory of the Holocaust. Among the stops was The Henrietta and Alvin Weisberg Gallery, the Holocaust Memorial Center’s newest permanent gallery, which houses an authentic World War II-era boxcar. The exhibit was funded by the Weisbergs, Holocaust survivors that live in Bloomfield Hills.
Visitors also visited the popular Time Line, a circular exhibit that tracks the history of the Jewish people against major events in world history over a period of 4,000 years, a news release stated. Additionally, the tour featured exhibits focusing on the story of World War II, first-hand accounts from Detroit-area Holocaust survivors and honors devoted to the thousands of non-Jews who saved, or tried to save Jews, despite the grave danger.
Following a short memorial service, survivor Fred Findling delivered a special presentation detailing his escape out of Germany without documents to relatives in Belgium, a succession of orphanages and a French castle. Through the efforts of Eleanor Roosevelt and the Society of Friends, his journey concluded in the United States.
Holocaust survivors, politicians, religious leaders and others around the globe commemorated the day with solemn prayer services and warnings to never let the horrors occur again. The United Nations in 2005 designated Jan. 27 as the memorial day for the victims of the Holocaust – 6 million Jews and millions of other victims of Nazi Germany during World War II. It was selected because it falls on the anniversary of the liberation in 1945 of Auschwitz, the Nazis' most notorious death camp in southern Poland where an estimated 1.1 million people were exterminated.
The Holocaust Memorial Center, located at 28123 Orchard Lake Road in Farmington Hills, is open year-round. Visit the Center's website for more information.