Commack Assisted Living residents participate in Holocaust Memorial Day Campaign

Commack Assisted Living residents participate in Holocaust Memorial Day Campaign

Sally Birnbaum, Auschwitz survivor
Above, resident survivors at Gurwin Jewish-Fay J. Lindner Residences take part in the recent Holocaust Memorial Day Campaign. Photo courtesy of Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center

The World Jewish Congress last week launched the largest global event ever to commemorate the Holocaust, via a #WeRemember international social media campaign. People around the world were encouraged to upload to Twitter and Facebook photos of themselves displaying “WeRemember” signs.

In the days leading up to today’s observation of Holocaust Memorial Day — the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp — supporters worldwide posted their #WeRemember photos to social media, which were then live-streamed on a jumbotron at Poland’s notorious camp, Auschwitz, near crematorium 2.

Resident survivors at Gurwin Jewish-Fay J. Lindner Residences, an assisted living community in Commack, were honored to be part of the campaign. World Jewish Congress noted several reasons for the critical nature of the global social media movement: the dwindling number of survivors, the ongoing occurrence of genocides and the need to educate future generations about the atrocities of the Holocaust. Robert Singer, World Jewish Congress CEO, noted the importance of the campaign, hoping it would “engage the next generation, because soon it will be their responsibility to tell the story and ensure that humanity never forgets.”

Herman, survivor from Bergen-Belsen

In all, seven Gurwin assisted living residents, including survivors of the Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz concentration camps, posed with their “We Remember” signs, some fulfilling promises to family members who perished in the genocide, to “live to tell the story,” and others eager to participate in a remembrance project with an international reach. “My father told me to do everything I could to survive, to get out and tell the world what was happening,” said Sally Birnbaum, an Auschwitz survivor, now living at Gurwin. The World Jewish Congress made it possible for Sally, and thousands of others, to be sure that the world never forgets.