FAIRFAX DISTRICT (CBSLA) — Survivors were honored Sunday at LA’s Museum of the Holocaust at a Holocaust remembrance event ahead of Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, which officially takes place this year from sunset May 1 to nightfall May 2.
The day of commemoration came one day after the deadly synagogue shooting near San Diego.READ MORE: Sigma Nu Fraternity At USC Suspends Member At Center Of Sexual Assault Allegations
“For us, it is very personal because it tells us that anti-Semitism is real. It is happening right here in our backyard,” said Beth Keane, from the LA Museum of the Holocaust.
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti says people of all faiths must stand against hate because Saturday’s attack comes exactly six months after the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. And in an online manifesto the alleged Poway shooter drew inspiration from the mosque shooting in New Zealand.
“We put police officers all around our city to protect our synagogues. A week before it was churches. A couple of weeks before that it was our mosques. This escalating hate based on religion has got to stop,” said Garcetti.
96-year old Joe Alexander can tell you the price of hate through his documents from the Holocaust and the tattoo he got from the Nazis at Auschwitz.READ MORE: USC Places Sigma Nu Fraternity On Interim Suspension After Reports Of 'Possible Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assaults,' Students Protest In Support Of Victims
“From that moment on, you had no name. That was your name,” said Alexander.
Alexander survived 12 Nazi concentration camps but lost his parents and all of his brothers and sisters.
He was liberated at Dachau by American troops.
For Alexander, the Holocaust isn’t something you read in books or see at a museum. It’s a vital lesson he shares during speaking engagements at schools, where he tries to connect with young people to prevent the past from repeating itself like it did Saturday.
“It is more important,” said Alexander. “Let the public know what’s going on. We have to try and fight anti-Semitism wherever we can.”MORE NEWS: One Crew Member Killed, Second Wounded After Alec Baldwin Discharges Prop Gun On Movie Set In New Mexico
The executive director of the museum said the synagogue shooting was personal. A number of her staff members knew Lori Gilbert Kaye — the victim who died in Poway.