Area residents gathered for a Holocaust remembrance service at the Howard Beach Judea Center on Sunday.
The event, lead by Rabbi Kenneth Sokolowski, served as a solemn reminder of the Nazi’s systematic killing of approximately six million Jews, and other targeted groups during World War II.
In his opening remarks, Howard Beach Judea Center President Barry Rachnowitz warned of the need to remember the Holocaust in the face of those who deny it.
“The supreme commander for the Allied Forces [General Douglas MacArthur] ordered all possible photos and records to be taken of the bodies in the death camps and German citizens from surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps, and even bury some of the bodies, because someday, someone will say it never happened,” Rachnowitz said.
He warned of the danger presented by pressure to remove the Holocaust from school curriculums around the world.
“Now, more than ever, with nations like Iran denying that it happened, it is imperative to make sure that the world never forgets,” Rachnowitz said.
Sokolowski also stressed the importance of remembering.
“It can happen again, and indeed it is happening,” he said. “It needs to be real for those of you who weren’t there. You need to know the terror — not only to make you sad and angry, but also to keep you vigilant today. At the same time, I want you to be proud. The Nazi monsters only made us stronger.”
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) was also in attendance and gave the opening prayer. Members of the synagogue, including children, sang and lit candles as part of the tradition to symbolize the memories of millions of people who were murdered.