Holocaust Remembrance Events Set for April 23-25 in Muskegon and Ludington
The Shoah Commemoration Service on Sunday, April 23, at Samuel Lutheran Church in Muskegon, will feature guest speaker Dr. Renata Laxova, who was one of the 669 Jewish children in Czechoslovakia saved from the Nazis by British humanitarian Sir Nicholas George Winston’s brave effort known as the Kindertransport, or “children’s transport.” The service, which is free and event to the public, begins at 3:30 p.m. at the church located at 540 Houston.
Laxova will also be featured at two more Holocaust Remembrance witness and conversation events during the following two days. The Monday, April 24, event begins at 6:30 p.m. at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1206 Whitehall Road, in Muskegon. The second is on Tuesday, April 25, at 12:30 p.m. at West Shore Community College in Ludington.
All three events are being organized by the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies – Muskegon.
Born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, Laxova will provide her firsthand account of the Kindertransport, a rescue effort devised by the unassuming and humble Sir Nicholas Winston. His plan provided safe passage to England and finding homes for the children, but was not made known to the world for 40 years, until the late 1980s. Dubbed the “British Schindler” by the British press, Winston was awarded the Czech Republic’s highest honor, the Order of the White Lion, in October 2014. Featured on CBS’ 60 Minutes, Winston died at the age of 106 in July 2015.
Laxova returned to her country and lived under Communist rule until the Prague Spring 1968 when she and her family left for England and then the United States.
For more information, email email@example.com or call Congregation B’nai Israel at (231) 722-2702.
Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies – Muskegon
PO Box 452
Muskegon MI 49440
Pastor Christopher Anderson
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Mr. David Klemm
Muskegon Area Intermediate School District
Ms. Sarah Woycehoski
Rabbi Alan Alpert
Congregation B’nai Israel
Ms. Trynette Lottie-Harps
Muskegon Community College
Ms. Anna Alpert
Congregation B’nai Israel
In 1995 a Service of Commemoration was held at Samuel Lutheran Church in the city of Muskegon. Pastor Chris Anderson and Rabbi Alan Alpert gathered in the small Worship Center with 12 people in attendance. The service commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the liberation of the only remaining death camp, Auschwitz, and the many concentration camps spread throughout northern Europe and the murder of six million Jews and five million others because they were Slavs, Roma and Sinti, or their religious or political beliefs or their sexual orientation. The service also commemorated Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was murdered by the Nazis at Flossenburg prison on April 9, 1945 for his participation the attempt to assassinate Hitler.
It has been a remarkable 20 years bringing primary witnesses to the Holocaust, individuals who lived in Europe and were part of the Hitler Youth, scholars in Holocaust studies. Various organizations have shared their gifts of music: the Cammerata Singers under the direction of Floyd Farmer; the Muskegon Chamber Choir under the direction of David Wikman; area high school and middle school choirs and instrumental groups from Reeths-Puffer, North Muskegon, Mona Shores, Muskegon High School and a diverse group of individuals.
In an effort to provide for this organization’s work into the future, a partnership was forged with Muskegon Community College and the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District. We moved from being the Shoah Remembrance Committee of Muskegon to the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies–Muskegon, whose mission is: cultivating values to diffuse hate and encourage diversity.
The Center will provide opportunities to the Muskegon Community which result in:
- Education: The Muskegon Community learns, thinks critically and applies lessons learned from the Holocaust and genocide
- Commemoration: The Muskegon Community remembers and reflects upon the victims of the Holocaust and genocide
- Perpetuation: The Muskegon Community recognizes the ongoing importance of educating and commemorating beyond the immediacy of the victims of the Holocaust and genocide.
On June 11, 2015 the committee finalized the By-Laws and established its first board.