This year Yom HaShoah, the Holocaust Day of Remembrance, will be observed in New Bedford on May 1. With the death of Mary Schwartz this past November, the program will be dedicated to her memory.
Schwartz was the first chair of the Holocaust Education and Memorial Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford, and encouraged Abe Landau to speak about his experiences in the 13 camps. She drove Landau to schools and helped him get started speaking to local middle and high school students.
Schwartz was not only active in the Jewish Federation, but she also was a writer for the New Bedford Standard-Times, writing articles about her native Denmark and her travels around the world.
This year Dr. John Saunders will speak about his survival in Auschwitz-Birkenau and other camps, ending up at Mauthausen. A graduate of Tufts Dental School, Saunders also served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force in Korea. His story of survival is unique and one that all must hear. Seventy-one years after the liberation of the camps, the remembrance will pay tribute to the liberators and the children at a memorial service at the Holocaust Monument at 6:15 p.m., followed by Saunders’ talk at Tifereth Israel Congregation at 7 p.m.
An exhibit of student essays and artwork will be displayed along with articles that Schwartz wrote for the New Bedford Standard-Times. A reception will follow.
The Holocaust Monument is located in Buttonwood Park, Hawthorn Street and Rockdale Avenue, New Bedford. Tifereth Israel is located at 145 Brownell Ave., New Bedford.