West Texans Remember Holocaust Victims

By Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - The senseless killings of millions of people all at the hands of the Nazis.

They are images that cannot and will not be forgotten especially not on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

On Sunday, a local temple held a memorial to honor the victims of the past in hopes of helping the future.

Rabbi Sidney Zimelman has a personal connection to the six million Jews massacred by the Nazis.

"I myself have a much closer tie to the holocaust than most people would believe," Zimelman said.

His immediate family fled Poland just in time, but all of his family wasn't so lucky.

"My father and the brothers were all fortunate to survive, but he had four sisters none of whom survived with their husbands and their children," Zimelman said. "None of them even had a chance to get to a concentration camp."

So every year, the community takes time to remember those who didn't survive the assassins or the dehumanizing death camps.

They light six candles to remember the six million who died and recite some of the names of the fallen.

"The Nazis took their names away," Memorial Chairman, Dr. Franklin Kasman said. "We believe we need to remember their names because every name is an individual."

But it wasn't just the Jews – gentiles, gypsies, children and countless others were also targeted.

The memorials like this will help the next generation stop future atrocities.

"I believe if you don't keep reminding people of bad things that happen, then people forget and they can happen again," Kasman said. "One of the mottos of the U.S. Holocaust Commission is 'Never Again.'"