CARSON CITY — Gov. Brian Sandoval, Supreme Court justices and members of the Legislature, among other dignitaries, participated in the Yom HaShoah Holocaust Memorial Day observance with Holocaust survivors Thursday.
The ceremony was the first of its kind ever held in the state capital. It is dedicated to the memory of the 6 million Jewish victims of Nazism and more than 5 million other victims during the Holocaust in World War II. The Jewish Federation of Las Vegas sponsored the program.
“I know I speak for every man, woman and child in the state of Nevada when I say that we are humbled and honored by your presence,” Sandoval said of the Holocaust survivors. “The Holocaust was the darkest moment in Jewish history and for mankind. Today we remember the 6 million Jewish victims, including the one and a half million children, who were brutally murdered by the Nazis.
“In remembering them, we pay tribute to their lives and what they could have been,” he said.
Sandoval said everyone must work harder to eliminate hatred, prejudice, bigotry and violence here in Nevada and around the world.
An important part of that effort is the work of the Governor’s Council on Education Relating to the Holocaust, which works to ensure that Nevada’s schoolchildren learn about the terrible events during World War II, he said.
Sandoval also issued a proclamation naming this week as Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Week in Nevada.
He plans to go on a trade mission to Israel in October, the first ever for the state.
Rabbi Bradley Tecktiel of the Midbar Kodesh Temple in Henderson spoke about the meaning of the observance.
The severity of the tragedy required that a rare addition of a day of observance be added to the Jewish calendar, he said.
The April date of the observance was picked because the Warsaw Ghetto uprising occurred in April 1943, Tecktiel said.
As part of the ceremony, Sandoval and state lawmakers joined with Holocaust survivors in a candle-lighting ceremony.
Sandoval helped Holocaust survivor Henry Kronberg of Las Vegas, who said he was liberated by U.S. Army Gen. George S. Patton’s troops while being transported between concentration camps.
Kronberg, 93, said he and his wife, who has since died, moved to Las Vegas after discovering years after the war that his sister was still alive and living in Nevada.
Kronberg said he was reluctant to talk about his experiences because it gave him nightmares. His views changed after seeing the 1993 drama “Schindler’s List,” he said.
“Then I realized, this is part of history,” Kronberg said. “We have a duty to tell the way it was and warn the future generations of the suffering and atrocities we went through. And try to prevent them from ever happening again.”
Contact Capital Bureau reporter Sean Whaley at email@example.com or 775-687-3900.