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'It's an important statement' — local Holocaust memorial gets national memorial status

President Biden signs bill into law as part of Omnibus budget bill
Holocaust Memorial Pkg.jpg
Posted at 5:32 PM, Dec 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-29 18:22:37-05

BEDFORD, Ohio — The federal government gave a Cleveland Holocaust memorial national memorial status.

Dozens gathered in Zion Memorial Park Thursday, for a flag-raising ceremony. Last weekend, President Biden signed a bill into law, renaming the Kol Israel Holocaust a National Memorial.

“It’s an important statement by the U.S. government that says we are giving a voice to the six million people whose voices were snuffed out needlessly,” said Andrew Mizsak, a board member of the Kol Israel Foundation.

The memorial was built in 1961 as a place for worshipers to pray and mourn.

“It’s very emotional,” added Mark Frank, memorial chairman of KIF. “I’m welling up obviously and thinking about my ancestors, my parents, and my grandparents who never made it through the holocaust.”

Underneath the monument is where human remains, ashes and artifacts from three concentration camps are buried. It’s a sign of resilience and remembrance that grows deeper every day.

One 90-year-old survivor, Erika Gold, was proud to be in attendance at the ceremony.

“The fact I was born in Budapest Hungary, it gave me a slight chance of survival,” she said. “That’s because all the children of my age in the outskirts were all gassed immediately when they got the Auschwitz.”

Gold escaped Europe in 1950 and Cleveland’s been home ever since.

“My mother's family in less than two months, 45 people were murdered, close family members, so, that was the gas chambers,” Gold added.

Gold had her murdered family member's last name engraved onto the memorial's wall. She knows her ancestors would be proud of this historic milestone.

“It’s amazing that the United States government is recognizing that the Holocaust happened because it did,” she said.

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