Holocaust remembrance commemorations took place around the world and in the Coachella Valley to mark 70 years since soviet soldiers liberated the concentration camp in Poland where Nazis killed more than a million people.
Hundreds of people sang along to pay tribute at the Holocaust Remembrance Day event at Palm Desert Civic Center Park Tuesday.
“Because I’m Jewish and I want the world to remember there was a Holocaust,” saidBarbara Litchinsky of Palm Springs.
Holocaust survivor Henry Friedman said he lived 18 months in the dark, 71 years ago wasa time when it was against the law for him to live.He shared his story on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
“We were living from hour to hour in fear. We didn’t know if we’d survive another hour,” said Friedman. “When I was finally liberated. I was a skeleton, I couldn’t walk. My muscles were atrophied. I was infested with lice and flees.”
The event, hosted by the Gerald R. Ford chapter of the Mensch Foundation welcomed people of all ages. Theycelebrated the resilience of Holocaust survivors in the Coachella Valley.
“I came out of it. I survived. Everyday since then I’m celebrating,” said Friedman.
Survivors and their loved ones stressed the importance of education to keep their memory alive toprevent another Holocaust from happening again.
Attendees then walked to the Holocaust Memorial at the Palm Desert park,where they lit candles in honor of the millions of people killed.
“We need to be different, but never indifferent when we see injustice being done to other human beings,” said Friedman. “My message for young people, never give up no matter what. Life is precious.”