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Delaware Holocaust Garden to Be Rededicated

April 3, 2013 By:
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Halina Wind Preston at the 1981 dedication at the Wilmington JCC. She planted a tree to commemorate the Polish Catholic sewer worker Leopold Socha, who helped her survive 14 months in the Lvov sewers.

The Garden of the Righteous Gentiles in Wilmington, Del., built to commemorate non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust, will officially be rededicated in a ceremony on April 7.

The program will take place at 3 p.m. at the Bernard and Ruth Siegel Jewish Community Center, the site of the garden that was originally planted in 1981 by Holocaust survivors living in Delaware. The area has been restored by its original landscape architect, Robert Grenfell, and the Halina Wind Preston Holocaust Education Committee.

Preston, who died in 1982, was the driving force behind the project. She survived the war by living in the sewers of L’vov, with the help of three Polish sewer workers. The story of the group that survived such inhuman conditions was told in the 2011 Polish film, In Darkness.

Her son, David Lee Preston, an editor with the Philadelphia Daily News, is helping to organize the program.

At the ceremony, a new tree will be dedicated by the family of Rachel and Todd Harad in memory of Andree and Suzanne Romain, two sisters who hid Rachel’s father, Charles Rojer, and 12 other Jewish children in Belgium. Rojer is a retired Philadelphia surgeon.

Eva Fogelman, co-founder of the Jewish Foundation for Christian Rescuers and author of Conscience and Courage: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust, will be the featured speaker.

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