LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A place to help teach lessons about the horrific events in Europe during World War II. Nevada’s first Holocaust memorial plaza opened Sunday to the public to educate them about this atrocity.
“I got emotional. It meant a lot to me. My parents died in Auschwitz.”
Raymond Fiol is a child survivor of the Holocaust. She was one of the dozens attending the opening of the Holocaust memorial plaza at the King David Memorial Chapel and cemetery. Memories of her time in Europe come back to her.
“So cruel. Why? I don’t see why. I don’t know why,” she said.
The systemic genocide of six million Jews and millions of others under Nazi German rule is still unfathomable to Fiol. Each design in the plaza is deliberate in provoking thought.
“When people come to this plaza, the first thing that comes to mind is awe and silence. There are no words to describe what happened in human history to our people,” Rabbi Sanford Akselrad, said.
Engraved stones with the name, location, and the number of deaths that occurred at each concentration camp. The Star of David wall shows a timeline from the election of Adolf Hitler to the end of World War II in Europe. Senator Jacky Rosen marked the somber remembrance.
“In this case on Yom Hashoah, a time to turn pain into reflection, and reflection into purpose,” she said.
A purpose Rabbi Akselrad says is evident in the building of the plaza.
“I hope that they look around the plaza and they see the unfolding of the history of how this happened,” he said.
A study by the Pew Research Center shows that education coupled with visiting a Holocaust memorial or museum strongly correlates with a stronger knowledge of the event. Rabbi Akselrad says that is key.
“If they understand the history, perhaps the notion of never again will become a reality,” he said.
A reality Fiol says must happen. She leaves people with these words.
“Treat each other as you want to be treated,” she said.
Anyone interested in visiting the memorial can come during regular business hours.