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Stained Glass Windows

www.nytimes.com/.../survivors-recall-cracow...who-die...

Mar 13, 1977 · ... New Cracow Friendship Soc dedicates 2 ... “Our wounds will never heal.” said Richard Abrahamer. president of the New Cracow Friendship Society.

Survivors Recall Cracow Ghetto in Memorial to Those Who Died
MARCH 14, 1977

LAKE SUCCESS, L.I., March 13 1977—The survivors of the Jewish community of Cracow, Poland, gathered here today to remember. But they found that the candles and the hymns and the speeches and the murals were inadequate memorials to that clay—March 13, 1943—when hundreds ofJews were murdered by nazis in the Cracow ghetto and thousands more were loaded into trucks bound for the death camps.

The real memorials today were in the tears of the fathers who saw and the sons who have only heard.

“Our wounds will never heal.” said Richard Abrahamer. president of the New Cracow Friendship Society. “We must never forget.”

In a special ceremony today at the Lake Success Jewish Center. the society dedicated two stained‐glass windows. One depicts in bright colors the glory that was Cracow—the great synagogues and houses of Learning. The second, in red, shows the destruction of that community with flames lapping up through barbered wire fences with the names Auschwitz, Bpchenwald. Treblinka, Matthausen and Bergen‐Belsen.

“For those of us who were there, there is no need for pictures,” said Milton Hirschfeld. “We see the winding streets of old Cracow, we see our parents and brothers and sisters. We see our happy youth.”

“We also see and remember in sharp colors how our loved ones died. We see our youth destroyed. We see flourishing city that became hopeless. For us, there is no homecoming.”

“But our task is not only to remember,” he added, “we must also teach our people and the entire world must never forget.”

There were 65,000 Jews in Cracow before World War II. About 3,000 of them are alive today, only 250 of them still in the Polish city.

Cantor David Werdyger, a Cracow survivor, and a choir of men from the city, sang “Ani Maamin,” a Hebrew hymn sung at the death camps, and “Es Brent,” a Yiddish song that tells of the ghetto burning. Six women who survived the camps lit a menorah in memory of the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust.

Rabbi Seymour Baumrind said that the Lake Success Jewish Center had been chosen as the home for the new stained‐glass windows because the synagogue stands across the street from the original site of the United Nations. It was there on Nov. 29, 1947, he said, that the organization approved the Palestine Partition Plan, which led to the birth of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948.

The windows were donated by Herbert Seaman, a member of the synagogue, who was an American soldier on hand for the liberation of the concentration camps after the war. The windows were created by Joseph Bukiet, Cracow survivor who now lives in Clifton, N.j.

Several speakers talked of what they called recent “threats to Jewish existence. They cited the siege last week of the B'nai B'rith office in Washington and of Fred Cowan, a Nazi follower who killed five people in New Rochelle.

Among the speakers was Uri Ben Ari, the consul general of Israel. Mr. Ben Ari said that when he first came to New York from Israel he was warned not to use the slogan “never again” too often. “Never again” was the cry of the radical Jewish Defense League.

“After the events of the last few weeks,” he said, “I say it loud and clear ‘never again’.”

“Never again will we bow to anybody elso. Never again will we beg for human rights. And ever again will we fight for our freedom.”

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