Letter: Holocaust Museum’s Daniel Reich clarifies comments


I want to clarify a misstatement I made in the article published July 30, about the passing of Holocaust survivor Mendel Rosenberg.

Mendel was not the last remaining survivor of the camps in our community. At the most recent Yom HaShoah commemoration, we heard Oskar Jakob’s testimony of surviving several camps, including Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, and Dora Mittelbau. At Yom HaShoah several years ago, Fred Ashner related his powerful story of surviving Bergen-Belsen and Westerbork. I believe there are at least two other camp survivors in our community.

The St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum, like several other museums, defines a survivor as anyone who lived and suffered under Nazi occupation. Some St. Louis survivors endured ghettos and camps, lived in hiding, or fled to the forests. Others experienced the stress and uncertainly of the kindertransports, or faced the challenges of rebuilding life as a refugee. All deserve our recognition and respect.

With the death of each survivor, we appreciate those who remain and continue to share their testimonies. We are grateful for the survivors and witnesses who recorded their testimonies, which are now part of our Oral History Project. Their stories will be the backbone of our new, expanded Museum, opening in summer 2022. We also appreciate the children and grandchildren of survivors who embrace the responsibility of remembrance from generation to generation.

It is our hope and prayer that the legacy and lessons of the survivors will never be forgotten.

Daniel A. Reich, Curator and Director of Education, St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum