A local World War II veteran and concentration camp liberator will be the featured speaker at Columbia’s annual Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Commemoration on Sunday at Beth Shalom Synagogue.
The Rev. Canon George I. Chassey will share his story of liberating Nazi concentration camps during World War II, and the evening will also feature dramatic readings of classic Holocaust-era poetry and local musician Solomon Eichner on the piano. The annual commemoration publicly acknowledges the horrors of the Holocaust, remembers the lives taken by the Nazi regime, and honors the soldiers who liberated Europe’s concentration camps.
Beth Shalom Synagogue will also host the Holocaust Remembered exhibit, which is typically housed at the Katie and Irwin Kahn Jewish Community Center in northeast Columbia. The exhibit highlights the stories of Jewish South Carolinians who survived the concentration camps, and the South Carolina soldiers who liberated them. The story of Maj. T. Moffatt Burriss, a WWII liberator who will be honored this coming week at the S.C. State House, was added to the exhibit this year.
“We must remember,” said Dr. Abe Wandersman, chair of the Columbia Jewish Federation’s Yom HaShoah Committee. “Yet it is also not enough to simply remember. We must educate and inform and prevent future atrocities as well.”