By Staff Sgt. Ian Kummer, First Army Public AffairsApril 26, 2017
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - First Army hosted the Rock Island Arsenal's Holocaust Days of Remembrance Observance here April 25.
The Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust is a nationally recognized eight-day period set aside for commemorations and educational programs to learn about the strength of the human spirit during the largest genocide in human history.
Holocaust survivor Doris (Warschawski) Fogel provided the keynote address for the event. Born in Berlin in 1934, Fogel was a young girl when her family escaped the growing persecution of Jews in the city, only to find themselves struggling for survival in the Japanese-controlled Hongkew Ghetto in Shanghai.
Fogel and other Jewish refugees in Hongkew finally found sanctuary in the United States in 1947. Upon arriving in her new home in Peoria, Illinois, the 13-year-old Fogel weighed just 65 lbs. But she was one of the lucky ones, she said. As many as 11 million people, including 6 million Jews, perished in the Holocaust.
"The Holocaust is defined as much by the bravery of the lost as by the cruelty of the guilty," Fogel said.
After sharing a brief glimpse of the trauma endured by herself and countless others, Fogel reminded the audience that it is only a matter of time before the last of the Holocaust survivors are gone forever.
"I'm 83 years old, and I'm one of the youngest," Fogel said. "You are the last generation to hear this first-hand."
First Army commanding general, Lt. Gen. Stephen Twitty, and the commanding general of the Army Sustainment Command, Maj. Gen. Edward Daly, presented Fogel with a framed aerial photo of Rock Island Arsenal as a gesture of thanks for her presentation.
"Mrs. Fogel, thank you for being here today," said Brig. Gen. Chris Gentry, First Army deputy commanding general-support. "We are honored to hear your story and to be reminded that we all bear a duty to confront hatred, prevent genocide and promote human dignity."