The Jewish Community Havura of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Atlantic Jewish Council invite the public to
a Holocaust Memorial Service at 7:30 pm Sunday, April 7, at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland. We encourage you to arrive early to make sure you get a seat. Students and their families are very welcome.
We are excited to announce that this year, well known Newfoundland Holocaust survivor Philip Riteman will be our speaker. His topic will be, A Survivor Speaks: The Holocaust Experience of Newfoundland’s Philip Riteman.
The service will include the lighting of seven candles: six to represent the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust and a seventh to represent the other victims of the Holocaust: the homosexuals, gypsies, communists, partisans, social democrats, Catholics, and mentally and physically disabled. The seventh candle will be lit by a representative of the Newfoundland and Labrador government.
Mr. Riteman, author of the book, Millions of Souls: The Philip Riteman Story, has shared his painful memories and a commitment to a more just society with audiences in Newfoundland and Labrador and across North America. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by Memorial and St. Thomas Universities has received the Order of Nova Scotia.
Fifteen-year-old Philip and his family were taken by the Nazis from their home in Poland to Auschwitz. He was the sole survivor -- his parents, five brothers and two sisters were all exterminated. He was used as a forced labourer in five concentration camps and was a witness to the most extreme cruelties.
After liberation, he was contacted by his mother’s sister who lived in Newfoundland. Although Canada was not then allowing Jewish immigration, Newfoundland was not yet part of Canada and Philip was allowed to enter. He arrived in 1946, learned English and started selling clothing door to door. He resided in Newfoundland for 34 years until moving to Nova Scotia in 1980.