INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It is easily one of the most devastating events in human history, when millions of Jewish people were killed in the Holocaust.
On Friday, Hoosiers gathered to remember the lives lost.
Germany. November 1938. Ernie Lorch was 14-year-old. He remembers Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass.
“Jewish stores were boycotted. Rocks were thrown at windows,” Ernie Lorch said.
He is a Kristallnacht survivor and a World War II veteran. “Signs were put on the stores with a sign ‘Jew’ on it.”
Those nights of terror linger.
“Nazi hoards would walk through the streets singing very unpleasant songs,” Lorch said.
On Friday, dozens of people came to the Statehouse for this year’s Holocaust remembrance program.
“We remember and honor the lives of the victims. But, it’s really important today, that we spend time thinking about all of the people who watched, who said nothing,” said Lindsey Mintz, the executive director of the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council. “And what our responsibilities are as members of a shared society to stand up and speak out when we see injustice perpetrated against anybody.”
Born in Nuremberg, Germany, Lorch’s father was murdered. He and his family eventually came to the United States, and he served the U.S. Army in WWII. Lorch, who is 96, said he hopes people learned something from his words Friday.
“These things have happened, can happen, do happen,” Lorch said. “Happen every day. Happened in Africa, happened in Asia, Happen all over the world. By in large, we ignore it. I think ignoring it or not assigning importance to it, I think is the problem.”
Lorch said he hopes people never forget the Holocaust and that they also watch current world events to make sure this never happens again.