Special to the JTA over 1000 Holocaust Survivors Due to Attend World Gathering of Holocaust Survivor
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Special to the JTA over 1000 Holocaust Survivors Due to Attend World Gathering of Holocaust Survivor

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Over 1,000 Holocaust survivors from the West Coast are expected to go to the World Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors in Israel from June 15-18, 1981, the majority from five major West Coast cities in the United States and the largest city in Western Canada, it was reported here by Samuel Mozes, executive director of the World Gathering.

Mozes, who met with Vancouver Jewish community leaders and representatives of local Jewish survivor organizations, said that he had received on enthusiastic welcome "for our plans to hold the largest convocation ever of Holocaust survivors, with the second generation playing a major and vital role in the implementation of those plans."

He met here and received assurances of cooperation for the World Gathering from the Canadian Jewish Congress Western Division; and from Holocaust survivor leaders Dr. Robert Krell, professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia; Vera Slyomovics, national chair-person for Holocaust affairs for the Canadian Hadassah-WIZO; and Tzipi Mann, Vancouver Second Generation leader.

Mozes told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that a mass meeting in Los Angeles held recently under the auspices of the Council of Post-Was Organizations (Council of Survivors) attracted more than 500 representatives in attendance from close to 20 component groups representing survivors from concentration camps and wartime ghettoes. Among them were the Sons and Daughters of the 1939 Club, Inc.; Young Leadership-One Generation After and Generation-to-Generation of San Francisco.


At the same meeting, Mozes said, Ted Kanner, executive vice president of the Jewish Federation-Council of Greater Los Angeles pledged total cooperation and support on behalf of his officers and Board to the World Gathering.

Irving Peters, chairman of the Southern California Council of Postwar Organizations, told the meeting that the World Gathering is "an historical necessity to be held in Israel. It will serve as a powerful demonstration against the revival of the Nazi movement in all of its ugly forms. We must mobilize all freedom-loving forces against the old Goebbels philosophy of distorting truth by re-telling the Nazi lies."

Anita Scheff, executive secretary of the Southern California Council, reported a brisk response to the appeal by Ernest Michel, chairman of the World Gathering who called for co-operation and participation on behalf of the survivor communities in California. Michel, the executive vice president of the New York United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, is, himself, a survivor of among other camps Buchenwald and Auschwitz.

Both Peters and Mrs. Scheff pledged that Los Angeles, with one of the largest Jewish Holocaust survivor settlements on the West Coast, would organize a delegation commensurate with its survivor population.

Similar pledges, Mozes told community leaders here, were made by survivor leaders William Lowenberg, Max Garcia and Naomi Lauter in San Francisco. Also giving leadership to the West Coast effort on behalf of the Gathering, Mozes said are: Ed Robbins in San Diego, and Klaus Stern and Cantor Joseph Frankel in Seattle.

He added that special travel arrangements were being made to enable West Coast contingents to fly directly to Israel, if they so desire.

The Your-day World Gathering, which has the endorsement and cooperation of the government of Israel, will place a major emphasis on the second generation’s "taking up the heritage torch in order to keep aflame the Holocaust story so that no generation will ever forget," Mozes told the JTA.

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