Survivors, liberators remember the Holocaust at Reno event | NevadaAppeal.com

Survivors, liberators remember the Holocaust at Reno event

Steve Ranson
sranson@lahontanvalleynews.com

An American soldier and liberated prisoners of the Mauthausen concentration camp. Austria, May 1945.

On a recent Honor Flight Nevada trip to the nation's capital, the veterans took a planned side trip to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis which interested one of the travelers, a World War II chaplain who volunteers at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno.

As the group assembled for a group photo, a man ran across the street, shouting his thanks to the veterans for saving his life. He spent time with the group before they continued with their tour.

That man is Albert Garih, a Holocaust survivor, who will be a speaker at Tuesday night's discussion to remember the survivors and liberators of one of the most tragic events of World War II. Garish was a young Frenchmen liberated from a concentration camp in 1945.

The free three-hour event, which is sponsored by Honor Flight Nevada, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Nevada, Reno and other organizations, honors both those affected by the atrocities committed by the Germans and the men who freed them. Gov. Brian Sandoval and Jon Yuspa, founder and CEO of Honor Flight Nevada, will offer opening remarks, and after the testimonials from survivors and liberators, a question-and-answer session will follow.

The remembrance begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno and includes a reception and exhibit before the discussion. The Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Israel has provided the "Anguish of Liberation" exhibit of 13 panels. Survivors created the artwork about the liberation with description about each panel.

Julia Berg of Reno, whose parents lived in Holland and protected Jewish families at the risk of death during the war, said it's important for people of all ages to learn more about Holocaust survivors and the soldiers. Berg said many veterans stayed with the survivors and ensured they received food, shelter and aftercare.

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"Many of these people are in their late 80s and 90s, and this event will give the audience a chance to ask questions," Berg said. "Many Holocaust survivors are expected to be here in Reno."

During the week, Berg said speakers will visit schools in the Reno area to discuss their experiences.

Yuspa said the discussion will broaden what liberators faced during the waning days of WWII.

Referring to a speech included in a video of the Holocaust, he recalled the survivors thanked the men who marched across Europe to liberate a continent.

Yuspa said one of the veterans speaking Tuesday night is a 95-year-old Army soldier who served in Gen. George S. Patton's 3rd Army who liberated a concentration camp. A 93-year-old airman who served in the 306th Bomb Group H from 1942-45 will share his story. Yuspa said the veteran also received the French Legion Of Honor with Knighthood for what he did in France.

Additionally, Yuspa said a retired Reno policeman who served in the Marines will talk about his father, a camp survivor.

"The Holocaust survivors can't thank the people enough," Yuspa said. "They don't want to see it happen again."

IF YOU GO

What: Holocaust Remembrance: Survivors & Liberators

When: Tuesday, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Where: Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

3800 S. Virginia St., Reno

Admission: Free

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