LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Survivors gathered Sunday at the Museum of the Holocaust for a special commemoration ceremony.
CBS2’s Tina Patel was there.
She spoke to participants like Eva Nathanson who said she refused to take part in ceremonies like this one for years. The memories were too painful.
“My mother and I were saved by the underground and righteous Christians. and I was hidden for almost three-and-a-half years as a child,” Nathanson says.
She only began to tell her truth and her stories when time passed and too many people forgot what happened in Nazi Germany.
“But I realized you have to talk about it. there’s a lot of people who deny it ever happened, and that’s unacceptable,” she said.
Dave Lux agrees. He brought his daughter Beverly to the Yom HaShoah ceremony at the Los Angeles-based museum.
“When we were younger, it was very hard for us to understand — my brohers and I — what he had been through,” said Beverly. “Now that I listen to him speak and go to these things, it gives me a much, much better understanding.”
Museum officials hope more survivors will tell their stories while they still can.
“The Holocaust is not about six million people, it’s about one family and one family and one family. The only way you get that knowledge and understanding is by talking with Holocaust survivors,” says Paul Nussbaum, of the museum.
Officials with the museum say with the rise of nationalist groups in several countries around the world, remembrance events are especially important this year.
“There was a time when I thought we learned our lesson. I remember everybody said never again after the Holocaust. but more you read the papers and see what’s going on in the world right now — and even in the United State — bigotry hasn’t stopped, hatred hasn’t stopped,” said Nathanson.
Those in attendance today hope that events like this one can spread empathy and tolerance so history has no chance of repeating.