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2014 Days of Remembrance: Georgia Commemorates Victims of the Holocaust

May 12, 2014
Elderly man lighting a candle

On behalf of the State, the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust hosted the 2014 Days of Remembrance in commemoration of the Holocaust in the State Capitol on May 2, 2014.

Nationally recognized, Days of Remembrance holds a deep and rich history for our country. The U.S. Congress established the Days of Remembrance as our nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust. They also created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a permanent living memorial to the victims. Since 1982, the Museum has organized and led the national Days of Remembrance ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. Holocaust survivors, liberators, members of Congress, White House officials, the diplomatic corps and community leaders attend this day. 

This year, Holocaust Remembrance Week occurred all over the country on April 27-May 4, 2014. The Museum designated “Confronting the Holocaust: American Response” as the theme for the 2014 observance.

In Georgia, Governor Deal annually issues proclamations declaring the Friday following the Museum’s Days of Remembrance as Georgia’s official Days of Remembrance.

On May 2 in our own Capitol Rotunda in Atlanta, six candles were lit by Holocaust survivors in remembrance of the six million Jews that were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. The 2014 Candlelighters were:

  • Hebert Kohn introduced by the Honorable Brian Kemp and escorted by Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Hugh Thompson
  • Henry Gallant introduced by Vice Dean of the Atlanta Consular Corps and Consul General of Ireland Paul Gleeson and escorted by Consul General of Haiti Gandy Thomas
  • Ben Hirsch introduced by the Consul General of the Republic of France Denis Barbet and escorted by Consul General of Japan Kazuo Sunaga (Ben was unable to attand so Consul General Sunaga will light the candle on his behalf.)
  • Henry Birnbrey introduced by Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany Christoph Sander and escorted by Deputy Consul of Mexico Edurne Pineda
  • Karen Edlin in memory of her parents Lola and Rubin Lanksy introduced by Mayor of Sandy Springs Rusty Paul and escorted by Honorary Consul of Czech Republic George Novak
  • Herschel Greenblat introduced by Rabbi Peter Berg and escorted by Senator Butch Miller and Representative Broadrick

In addition to lighting the candles, Consul General of the United Kingdom Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford read the poem “Exodus” by Lotte Kramer in special commemoration of the rescue of hundreds of Jewish children via the Kindertransport. Melanie Nelkin, co-founder and chair of the Georgia Coalition to Prevent Genocide, was presented with the 2014 Humanitarian Award. Dr. Mike Buck, Georgia Department of Education Chief of Staff, named Lesley McClendon Distinguished Educator of 2014. The student winners of the 2014 Art, Writing & Music Contest were also recognized.

A full gallery of photos from the ceremony is available on the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust’s Facebook page. Connect with the Commission on Twitter @holocaustgagov.

About the Author

Emma Ellingson is the Public Education Manager at the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust, located at the Anne Frank in the World: 1929-1945 exhibit in Sandy Springs where admission is free to all visitors. Emma is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College with a degree in Classics. She has been with the Commission since 2011.