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JWV reflects on lives lost during Nazi holocaust

The memories of those, who perished in the horror — plus those who lived to tell the tale — were offered a poignant tribute during a Holocaust memorial at Washington Cemetery.

One of history’s sobering periods — the systematic extermination of more than six million Jews and others by Hitler’s Nazis — was recalled at the annual tribute, presented by the Jewish War Veterans (JWV) and its Ladies Auxiliary Council, and coinciding with the Jewish High Holy Days.

The commemoration featured an honor guard, followed by guest speakers and a candle-lighting ceremony at the graveyard, Bay Parkway and McDonald Avenue.

The hallowed site features a memorial headstone donated by JWV in 1980, flanked by an American flag and a marker with the poem, “I Never Saw Another Butterfly,” taken from a child’s observation at the Terezin concentration camp in Czechoslovakia.

Auxiliary Council President Sylvia Elgart stepped off a distinguished roster of guest speakers, among them, Kings County Council JWV Commander Arthur Feigenbaum, Chaplain Rabbi Abraham Feldbin, Past Commander Harold Engelmann and Auxiliary State President Wendy Bill.

Joining them on the podium were: Commander Sheldon Ohren, New York State Department JWV; Irwin Beck, past department commander, American Legion, JWV; Past JWV County Commander Melvin Hurwitz; Councilman Michael Nelson; and Past National JWV Commander Judge Jerome Cohen.

Services offered by the JWV Ladies Auxiliary include working with Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals throughout New York State, Jewish cadets at West Point and servicemembers at the United Service organizations (USO).

Auxiliary members give teddy bears to abused children, circus tickets to children’s hospitals, and meals and equipment to Ronald McDonald Houses. Their other programs include The Purple Heart Museum, granting wishes to terminally ill veterans and giving out scholarships to deserving seniors.

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