70 years ago today, on July 23,, 1944 Soviet troops liberated the death camp Majdanek. Ten months earlier, on September 17, 1943 Roz Jacobs’ grandfather, Ephraim Sznaiderman was murdered there. We don’t have a photograph of him, but at least we have the date of his death and can light a traditional Yahrtzeit candle on that date to remember him.
We do have a photograph of Robert Vermes. He and his father were murdered at Majdanek in 1942. Robert’s sister survived and contributed a photograph of her brother to the USHMM, so we remember him by making portraits and telling his story in our workshops. You can see the portraits and read his story and many others in our Remembrance Gallery. As Roz Jacobs said, “I can’t bring the person back, but I can keep the connection alive-and that’s what’s important to me.”