40th annual Holocaust Remembrance will be Sunday via Zoom

Local News
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The 40th annual Quad Cities Holocaust Remembrance will begin at 7 p.m. Sunday via Zoom.

Log in in 15 minutes early at 6;45 p.m. to see the entries in the Holocaust Visual Arts Contest, paired with a musical performance by Sabrina Tabby and Ernesto Estigarribia of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. 

No registration is required. The Zoom link is at https://hecqc.org/ or go to https://bit.ly/31lBQ9a or https://augustana-edu.zoom.us/j/98388958921?pwd=VlVPaXFsVUZwbWUwTC9EeTBRa1V4Zz09

Sign language interpretation will be provided by Hands Up Communications.

The program will end with the “Warsaw Ghetto Stories” dances performed by the students of the Creative Arts Academy of the Quad Cities. It will be followed by a short Holocaust documentary created by 15 year-old Max Libman of Champaign, Ill., based on his great-grandmother Ann Gershuny.

Guest speaker is Ida Paluch Kersz, hidden child and Holocaust survivor who was saved by a Catholic family.

She is the author of “Unveiled Memories: Twins Reunited After the Holocaust.”

Paluch was born May 1939 in Sosnowiec, Poland. Soon after the German invasion, Ida, her mother, her twin brother, and her older sister were put into the Sosnowiec ghetto.

When she was three years old, her mother committed suicide, while her father was fighting as a Polish solider against the Germans. As were many Jewish children in Poland, Ida was sheltered by a Catholic family.

After the war, Ida’s father found her, and she stayed with him until 1957 in Wroclaw, Poland, where she attended a Jewish school, Shalom Aleichem. In spring 1957, Ida immigrated with her father to Israel and went to a Kibbutz, where she worked and studied Hebrew. She was married in Israel, and her daughter Ester was born there.

Ida and her family came to Chicago in 1963, and she has volunteered at the Illinois Holocaust Museum for over 25 years.

In conjunction with this year’s Remembrance, the Yom HaShoah Committee is partnering with the Geifman Endowment in Holocaust Studies at Augustana College to present a public lecture by Ida Paluch at 7 p.m. Monday, also via Zoom, from Augustana’s Wallenberg Hall. She will present a more comprehensive account of the Holocaust and its historical context at

In the Quad Cities, Yom HaShoah has been observed annually since 1982. The committee that organizes the observance was initially formed by representatives of the Quad Cities’ Jewish and Christian communities, and has maintained diverse representation ever since.

Sponsors of the 2021 Yom HaShoah service include the Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities, Temple Emanuel, Tri-City Jewish Center, Churches United, Augustana College and St. Ambrose University. It is believed to be the oldest continuing interfaith Yom HaShoah commemoration in existence.

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