Auschwitz complex

Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Faith Leaders Reflect On Auschwitz Visit On Holocaust Remembrance Day

May 02, 2019 - 7:47 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, one pastor in Brooklyn reflected on his recent visit to the most infamous concentration camps in Poland during the Nazi regime.

In March, Gilford Monrose, the director of Faith-Based and Clergy Initiatives for Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and Evan Bernstein, the local director of the Anti-Defamation League, visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland.

Rev. Monrose says the trip was chilling and recounted how he felt to walk through the grounds.

“Just seeing the hurt of a people. There were very mixed emotions that I know from our history, from slavery and through segregation,” said Monrose, who is African-America. “Just the feeling that I got when I saw all the artifacts put together and the history put together in one place.”

Bernstein is trying to break down barriers and has planned a second trip in the fall for rabbis to visit the National Museum of African American History And Culture in Washington D.C.

“We think taking them out of each other's comfort zone and bringing them into a space that maybe they would not normally go to, specifically on an issue that is that is so needed to understand, we think could have a tremendous amount of impact on that community,” Bernstein said.

Eric Goldstein, the CEO of the UJA-Federation of New York, told WCBS 880 that the Jewish community is working to remember the Holocaust and also stop the recent tide of anti-Semitic attacks.

“Words like ‘Never Again’ shouldn’t simply be slogans, they should really be communal calls to action to make sure that, really, it is never again,” Goldstein said.

The day of remembrance comes as the Anti-Defamation League this week reported a 55% increase in violent crimes against Jews in New York.