Child survivor speaks at Teaneck commemoration

Child survivor speaks at Teaneck commemoration

TEANECK – Nine hundred township residents, both young and old, attended the Teaneck Jewish Community Council’s annual Yom HaShoah commemoration at Teaneck High School on Monday.

Rabbi Dr. John Krug and Arline Duker recite the names of local families and their relatives who were killed in the Holocaust.

The highlight of the program was a keynote speech by Prof. Livia Bitton-Jackson, a widely published author and lecturer. A child survivor of Auschwitz, she and her mother were, ironically, saved from the gas chambers by the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele, who admired her blonde braids. Bitton-Jackson, who taught history at the City University of New York for 39 years, gave an emotional eyewitness account of the horror of families being separated during the camp selection process and stressed the importance of not only remembering the Shoah but also telling about it. As the ranks of living survivors diminish every year, the task of telling each generation of the horrors of the Shoah takes on a greater significance, she said.

Township residents Rabbi Dr. John Krug and Arline Duker read aloud the names of local families and the relatives they lost in the Shoah, while six candles were lit by survivors and their children and grandchildren.

Blanche Hampel Silver, a co-chair of the event, spoke about growing up in the home of survivors. Frisch senior Meir Fox led the crowd in Hatikvah and the Star-Spangled Banner and Avram and Elisha Mlotek, children of Yiddish theater producer Zalmen Mlotek, performed songs of the ghetto, accompanied by Marc Sussman. Mayor Elie Katz of Teaneck read a proclamation from the township acknowledging the importance of the day.

Rabbi Yosef Adler of Cong. Rinat Yisrael concluded the program by reciting Kaddish and El Moleh Rachamim.

Bitton-Jackson will discuss and sign her books on Sunday, April ”, at 1 p.m. at the Judaica House.

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