Holocaust and Human Rights Center Plans Program on Asylum and Remembrance
AUGUSTA – The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine will present its annual Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Day of Remembrance program on Sunday, April 15th from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Michael Klahr Center on the campus of the University of Maine at Augusta.
The program will feature a viewing of No Asylum: The Untold Chapter of Anne Frank’s Story. The 80-minute film focuses on the efforts of Anne’s father, Otto Frank in the years leading up to the Nazi occupation of Holland. Otto Frank exhausted every opportunity to gain visas for his family to escape to America, but was turned away repeatedly. No Asylum is a call to action for tolerance and respect.
Following the film, the HHRC will welcome two guests from Refugee and Immigration Services of Catholic Charities Maine: Program Director Hannah DeAngelis, and Hamet Ly, On-Site Supervisor at the Portland Office. They will discuss the current challenges and opportunities for asylum seekers in Maine.
In addition, the program will feature remarks by weaver Barbara Burns of Cundy’s Harbor, whose tapestry Homage to Anne Frank is hanging at the Klahr Center in honor of the Yom HaShoah event.
Yom HaShoah will begin with a brief ceremony of remembrance led by Rabbi Lisa Vininkoor of Beth Israel Congregation in Bath, Reverend Carie Johnsen of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Augusta, and Father Francis Morin of St. Michael’s Catholic Parish in Augusta. They will be joined by Robert Gersh, lay leader from Beth Israel Congregation in Bath, who will serve as cantor for the ceremony.
The Klahr Center is also currently presenting an exhibit focusing on the plight of migrants in the Arizona desert. Along the Migrant Trails is a collection of items left in the desert by migrants that were collected by volunteers who scour the desert looking for sick and injured people, while also leaving water and food. Since 2008, the remains of more than 3,000 individuals have also been found in the desert. The exhibit will be on display through the end of May.
Yom Hazikaron L’shoah V’l’giborah, or Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, takes place on the 27th of Nisan. It is often known simply as Yom HaShoah; “shoah,” Hebrew for destruction, is another name for the Holocaust. The day commemorates the six million Jews who died during the Holocaust. Memorials are held around the world hold memorials and vigils, in honor of the Holocaust victims. The United States Congress established the Days of Remembrance as our nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust.
The HHRC’s Yom HaShoah program is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. The event will be held at the Michael Klahr Center, 46 University Drive, Augusta.
For more information, visit www.hhrcmaine.org or call 207-621-3531.