March of Remembrance in Oakland honors Jewish holiday, Holocaust survivors
Sam Gottesman stared through a small opening in his train car at the sunlit spring sky over Eastern Europe.
About 90 other Czechoslovakian Jews stood in the boxcar with him, struggling for balance as the train lurched toward Auschwitz nearly 70 years ago.
“I was looking through that little window, hearing and seeing birds flying,” Gottesman, 90, of Squirrel Hill told about 100 people at the third annual March of Remembrance on Sunday in Schenley Park. He recalled wondering, as the pastoral German countryside rolled by, “What happened to us? What did we do?”
About 40 cities in the United States, as well as others overseas, hosted similar marches on Sunday. Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, began at sundown. Christians organized the Pittsburgh march as a statement of solidarity and an act of repentance, said Nathan Puro, pastor of Shoresh David Messianic Congregation in Monroeville.
“This happened essentially because of a silent majority among us, people who did or said nothing,” Puro said.
Gottesman's mother and five of his seven siblings are among more than 6 million Jews killed during the Holocaust.
When prisoners asked about their missing family members in Auschwitz, they were told that their family was cared for, he said.
Though Gottesman could see the smoke rising from one of Auschwitz's buildings, and smell burnt flesh in the air, he and many others who arrived with him didn't immediately realize the full horror of that camp, he said.
One day Gottesman heard a man say to a newcomer, “You see that smoke? That's where your family is.”
Mike Wereschagin is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Trib real estate writer Spatter ‘worked right to the end’
- Pittsburgh councilwoman proposes rules for protecting dogs from extreme weather
- Pa. Medicaid growth in tug of war between departing Governor Corbett, incoming Wolf
- Newsmaker: Irene H. Frieze
- Ambridge police chief went undercover in attempt to catch person who robbed 2 people at knifepoint
- Allegheny County Council wants to hike members’ $3K expense accounts
- No federal funds to help enforce Pa. ban on texting by drivers
- Defying the odds makes this Thanksgiving particularly poignant
- Brentwood police chief to get nearly $200K as part of settlement agreement with borough
- Man’s death by runaway wheel on Route 28 ruled accident
- U.S. Steel to relocate corporate headquarters on former Civic Arena site