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Holocaust remembrance takes center stage in Palm Desert

Published On: Jan 27 2014 08:09:32 AM CST
OTD March 26 - Auschwitz

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

1942: The Germans begin sending Jews to the Auschwitz II–Birkenau extermination camp in Poland. Through late 1944, 1.3 million prisoners died at the camp, most of them in its gas chambers. Those not killed in the gas chambers died of starvation, forced labor, infectious diseases, individual executions and medical experiments. On Jan. 27, 1945, Auschwitz was liberated by Soviet troops, a day commemorated around the world as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.


The Gerald R. Ford Chapter of the Mensch Foundation  International will hold its annual remembrance ceremony Monday in Palm Desert to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

   The ceremony at Palm Desert's Civic Center Park will begin at 1 p.m.  Scheduled speakers include economic analyst Morris Beschloss, who escaped Nazi Germany as a child; Rabbi Yonason Denebeim, director of Chabad of Palm Springs; Bernd Fischer, the German consul general in Los Angeles; Holocaust survivor Henry Friedman; Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit and Palm Desert Mayor Van Tanner.

   The event will conclude with a walk from the park's amphitheater to the nearby Palm Desert Holocaust Memorial, Palm Desert city spokesman David Hermann said. He said people are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets.

   The United Nations General Assembly in 2005 designated Jan. 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day to honor the millions of Jews and others killed by the Nazis and to mark the day in 1945 when Soviet troops  liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland.