Son of Holocaust survivor speaks in Erie

Local News

Michael Gans travels around the country trying to educate as many people as he can about the significance of the Holocaust.

The Jewish community in Erie coming together on Sunday to honor Holocaust survivors and their families. “Most Holocaust survivors will be gone soon and with them their memories of course are going to be gone,” said Michael Gans, Holocaust educator. 

Gans was invited to speak in Erie by the Jewish Community Council of Erie for their annual Holocaust memorial observance.

Gans’  father was a Holocaust survivor and he says he wants to make sure survivors’ memories are not forgotten.”If we forget history or if it’s not told the way it really is that we’re doomed to relive that and we are seeing today a mediocre rise in anti-semitism,” said Gans. 

Gans says he hopes his message about the importance of the Holocaust resonates with people that are in the younger generation.

The chairman of the Jewish Community Council of Erie says it’s vital for the younger generation to know Holocaust history. “The majority of millennials don’t know what Auschwitz was… average Americans think Hitler and the Nazi’s took power by force, they weren’t, they were democratically elected in the early 1930’s,” said Jeff Pinksi, chair JCC of Erie. 

Before Gans’ speech, there was a special candle lighting ceremony that honored Holocaust survivors, their families and non jews who risked their lives saving people from the Holocaust. 

During Sunday’s events Ganz also discussed the synagogue shootings that happened in Pittsburgh and California.

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