Joe Gottdenker remembers two things about the Holocaust: The sweet, warm taste of fresh milk and the day Germany surrendered.
But it is the larger, collective memory of the Holocaust he hopes to keep alive.
“It’s about the commemoration and the education,” he says.
Gottdenker is the keynote speaker at tonight’s Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony, which is themed this year around child survivors. It is a subject he knows all too well.
The 66-year-old was still in the womb when his father was taken to a Nazi concentration camp, and spent his early life on a farm in Poland, raised as a Catholic so he wouldn’t die a Jew.
Tonight’s event, starting at 7 p.m. at Earl Bales Park, routinely attracts as many as 2,500 spectators, making it the largest holocaust remembrance ceremony outside of Israel.