Dr. Philip Riteman poses with his book A Holocaust Memoir: Millions of Souls. He will be speaking at First United Baptist Church on Sunday, April 27.
Seventy years ago, Jews in Nazi Germany were living on the edge.
By 1944, the Allied Forces were advancing on German territory. In an attempt to conceal their crimes, the retreating German army began liquidating the ghettos, concentration camps and extermination camps. The question was would Adolf Hitler succeed in killing every Jew in Europe before they could be freed?
Majdanek was the first extermination camp captured by the Russian army. Though empty, they found overwhelming evidence to support the reports of mass murder. As the Allied Forces continued to advance, they uncovered undeniable proof of deliberate and systematic murder aimed primarily at Jews.
The Holocaust resulted in the death of two-thirds of Europe’s Jews, six million people in all. In addition, 16 to 20 million non-Jewish victims were also murdered.
But among the dead, they found survivors. Witnesses.
Dr. Philip Riteman is one such witness. He survived five concentration camps as a forced labourer. He is the sole survivor of his immediate family. For over 40 years, he was unable to speak of the horrors he experienced. However, since 1989, he has spoken to thousands. His mission is to “educate today’s youth on the atrocities committed against millions of Jews and Gentiles by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime during World War II.”
His message: “Hate destroys people, communities, and countries. Love binds us all together and makes a better world.”
Riteman will be speaking of his experiences on Yom HaShoah: the Holocaust Remembrance Day. All are welcome to attend on Sunday, April 27 from 2-4 p.m., at First United Baptist Church.
A light lunch will be held after and Dr. Riteman will be available for questions. Copies of his book, A Holocaust Memoir: Millions of Souls, will be available for purchase.
Riteman’s message for Yom HaShoah is a message for us all to choose love over hate.