After liberation from Klooga, a labor camp in Estonia in 1944, Shnaper vowed to have his voice heard – and heard loudly. As the president of the Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors in Philadelphia, he has gotten his wish – becoming the longtime organizer of the Memorial Ceremony for the Six Million Jewish Martyrs, the city's annual Holocaust remembrance ceremony.
This year's event – on Sunday, April 30, at 1 p.m. – will be held at the Monument to the Six Million Jewish Martyrs on 16th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. The monument has been the ceremony's site for 41 years now.
With the theme, "Resistance, Defiance and Courage: Jewish Acts of Survival," the event this year will touch on Jewish bravery in the face of Nazi brutality.
Hadassah Lieberman, the daughter of Holocaust survivors and the wife of 2000 presidential candidate and current Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, will deliver the keynote address.
In keeping with the theme, Lieberman is expected to discuss how her father Samuel organized the escape of 20 men during a forced march to Auschwitz in 1945, as well as her mother's endurance amid the horrors of Dachau.
Other speakers include Israeli Consul General Uriel Palti, Sister Josephine Kase from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Neomosha Nelson, a member of the Metropolitan Christian Counsel of Philadelphia.
The program, sponsored by the Memorial Committee for the Six Million Martyrs of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, will open with a procession by the Philadelphia County Council of Jewish War Veterans, and a presentation of wreaths at the monument. During the "March of the Children," young ones will carry posters featuring photos of people who resisted Nazi oppression.
Members of the B'nai B'rith Community Action Project will also read names of those who were murdered during the Shoah, while violinist Philip Kates from the Philadelphia Orchestra performs.
Temple Sinai Junior Choir and Cantor Isaac Horowitz from Congregation Sons of Israel in Cherry Hill, N.J., are also scheduled perform.
An aide to city councilman Brian J. O'Neill will present a resolution recognizing the week of April 24 to April 30 as the Annual Remembrance of the Six Million Jewish Martyrs.
Before the main program, middle- and high-school students will meet at the Jewish Community Services Building, at 2100 Arch St. in Philadelphia, for "Breakfast With a Survivor" at 10:30 a.m. Keynote speaker Judy Meisel – a Lithuanian Jew who escaped a Nazi death march – will relay firsthand what life was like during that tumultuous period in history.
In the event of rain, the event will be at Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel, 300 S. 18th St., Philadelphia.
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