About 300 people attended the 2012 Holocaust Commemoration service held Tuesday at the Civic Center Music Hall.
The annual event was hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City in partnership with the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.
As part of the ceremony, Holocaust survivors, relatives of survivors as well as community members participated in a traditional candlelighting ceremony to commemorate those who were murdered by the Nazis.
Edie Roodman, executive director of the Jewish Federation, said the annual service is one of the significant events in the community, particularly because there are fewer local Holocaust survivors.
“As the firsthand testimony of survivors, rescuers, resistors and liberators diminishes, our promise to remember this dark chapter in history is even more of an imperative,” Roodman said.
The keynote speaker for the service, rabbi and scholar Michael Berenbaum, Ph.D., specializes in the study of the memorialization of the Holocaust.
He played a key role in the creation of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, and the content of its permanent collection and also consulted on the design of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.
“Michael Berenbaum's words had emotional impact and historical depth which gives further context to the Holocaust,” Roodman said. “It is not the memory of the Nazi perpetrators that must stand through time but rather the nobility of the human spirit as well as the decency and courage of human beings that prevailed and triumphed.”