The following is a copy of a letter sent to Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.
I just read your Feb. 2 article in the Atlanta Jewish Times (“Georgia Must Memorialize Holocaust Victims”). Thank you for stating your opinion so positively and with such support of the Jewish community. You may not be aware that Atlanta has a Holocaust memorial.
As the child of two Holocaust survivors, I offer you the following information.
On Sept. 3, 1964, approximately 150 Holocaust survivors living in Atlanta founded Eternal Life-Hemshech/Organization of Survivors of Nazism. Hemshech is a Hebrew word meaning continuation.
The primary goal of Eternal Life-Hemshech was to erect a monument in memory of the 6 million murdered, including the survivors’ family members. Because most of the survivors had no idea where the remains of their loved ones were, this memorial also would provide a place to say Kaddish (prayer for the dead) for their loved ones who were among the 6 million victims.
The survivors contributed the money for the construction of the monument; they bought the land from Greenwood Cemetery in Atlanta. They wanted the memorial to be publicly accessible and knew the cemetery would remain through the years.
An inscription on the front wall in Hebrew, English and Yiddish is from the Book of Genesis. It reads, “The voice of the blood of thy brother crieth out to me from the ground.” Permanently placed inside the monument, where six 19-foot torches soar, are human ashes from the German concentration camp Dachau. More than 100 memorial plaques list the names of the family members who perished.
Twenty years after the end of World War II, the members of Hemshech dedicated the Memorial to the Six Million on April 25, 1965.
On April 21, 2008, the Memorial to the Six Million was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior. I have attached the certificate for your information.
For 53 years, the community observance of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) has been held at the memorial. This year our service will be held April 15 at 11 a.m. I invite you to join the Atlanta community at this event.
Sadly, we continue to witness genocides and other atrocities around the globe. Hemshech supports education to teach the lessons of the Holocaust to our youth so that someday “never again” can truly be realized.
— Karen Lansky Edlin, Atlanta, president, Eternal Life-Hemshech