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South Florida survivor shares lessons on Holocaust Remembrance Day

Rose Rosenkranz says Holocaust 'something that needs to be remembered and taught'
Posted at 5:57 PM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 23:31:27-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — About 6 million Jews were killed between 1941 and 1945.

"It's not just in the United States, but all over the world something that needs to be remembered and taught," South Florida resident and Holocaust survivor Rose Rosenkranz said.

Rosenkranz said in 2005 the United Nations declared Jan. 27 Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Changes are reflected in the curriculum in places like Palm Beach County.

"By learning about this watershed event in the history of humanity, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the ramifications of prejudice intolerance and stereotype," Palm Beach County Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy said.

A special virtual lesson was put together Wednesday by school district leaders to ensure the history of the Holocaust doesn't die.

Rosenkranz is living proof of the Holocaust. She was born in a slave labor camp in Siberia 76 years ago.

Between the ghettos, death and labor camps, she said, she lost 99.9% of her family.

Rose Rosenkranz, Holocaust survivor
Rose Rosenkranz is a South Florida resident and Holocaust survivor who was born in a slave labor camp in Siberia.

Since then, Rosenkranz has been back to Poland and Israel at least 20 times for the march of the living, an effort to spread Holocaust and Jewish awareness. Much of the work left to be done is closer to home.

"We've learned that lesson over and over again and recently in Charlottesville and, most recently, Jan. 6 when we had the Capitol insurrection and people were wearing shirts with Auschwitz on in front," she said. "So anti-Semitism has not died."

Peter Eckstein, director of Jewish Education and Israel engagement at the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, said remembering and honoring those lost in the Holocaust is a matter of learning their stories.

"The other way is living your lives without hate living your life, so you don't hate another person because of their religion or national origin or the color of their skin, and you teach people who are close to you in your life that lesson as well," Eckstein said. "That's the real way to honor their memories to work so it doesn't happen again."

Both Eckstein and Rosenkranz agree there's no better time than now to make moves towards being better.