Select Page

by Gary Javitch

It was likely one of the more moving programs Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle presided over in 
his office.  It took place Wednesday morning, April 18.  The community-wide Holocaust 
commemoration was to be held that evening.  Mayor Jim Suttle listened 
intently to two Holocaust survivors, two rabbis, and seven members of the Jewish 
community of Omaha. 

The attendees poured out heart-felt feelings during the eighth annual B’nai B’rith-led
 proclamation program in the office of Omaha’s top official.  It was Yom HaShoah, the 
Holocaust remembrance for those Jews and others who lost their lives during the period
 from 1933 to 1945, when the German armies of Adolph Hitler tried to conquer the world
 and destroy the Jewish people.

The Holocaust survivors and the other members of the group shared their feelings about what this day meant
 to them.  “Never Again” was one theme expressed.  Another was the grave concern about 
the present state of world affairs, as the Iranians continue their march toward the 
acquisition of a nuclear weapon.  The motivation, of course, was the systematic and 
deliberate attempt by the Nazis to eliminate every single Jew in the world.

Yet at that meeting, there was also a message of hope.  One son of a survivor 
mentioned the appreciation his family had for the courage of a “righteous gentile” 
family who hid them from the Nazis.  The saving of that one life allowed another 
generation to continue.

 Using wording prepared by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the mayor had
 fashioned a proclamation declaring that day “Remembrance Day.”  The proclamation was
 presented later that evening.