The Last Survivor: Guest Speaker Rabbi Joseph Polak
His memoir, After the Holocaust, the Bell Still Rings, winner of the 2015 National Jewish Book Award for autobiography, is introduced by Elie Wiesel. Born in the Netherlands, Joseph Polak was seized by Nazis before his first birthday and taken with his parents to Westerbork, then to Bergen-Belsen. Rabbi Polak is Rabbi Emeritus of the Hillel House at Boston University (B.U.) and assistant professor at B.U. School of Public Health.
This annual commemoration honors the courage, resourcefulness and determination of Egon J. Salmon, his parents Paul and Erna, and other relatives that enabled their family to survive. It also recognizes Egon’s contribution to the Jewish community. Along with his wife Marie, sons Jon and Henry, and many grandchildren, Egon and the Salmon family have contributed to the flourishing of Jewish life and to business and community development in the New York region. Read full description here: Egon J. Salmon was an eyewitness to anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany and to Kristallnacht. His father Paul was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Dachau. With his mother Erna and sister Edith, Egon sailed on the M.S. St. Louis, also known as the “Voyage of the Damned.”
On his 15th birthday he saw the lights of Miami as he was sent back to Nazi Germany, having been denied entry to the United States and Cuba. Others in his family fled to Bolivia, Uruguay and Shanghai. After a year in Belgium, finally Egon, Edith and their mother Erna were able to immigrate in 1940 to Staten Island, where he attended New Dorp High School. Egon returned to Europe with the U.S. Military, where he earned three battle stars for service in the infantry during the Italian campaign and with military intelligence after the war. Along with his wife Marie, their sons and their wives Henry and Linda, Jon and Meryl, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, his family has contributed to the flourishing of our community.
Event held on November 10, 2016 @ 6:00 pm.