Holocaust Commemoration Memorial Service held at Adath Shalom

Edward Mosberg giving his testimony as one of the only Holocaust survivors from his family. “I speak not for me, but for those who are not here to speak,” Cecile and Edward Mosberg.

Adath Shalom held a Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Commemoration Memorial Service Presentation, on Sunday, April 27, at it’s location at 841 Mountain Way, Morris Plains.

Edward Mosberg, born in 1926, is a sole survivor out of sixteen members of his family of the Holocaust he gave the testimony of his experience.  He survived the karakow Ghetto, Plaszow, Mauthausen and Linz Concentration Camps.  Cecile, his wife, survived the Krakow Ghetto, Mieiec, Dubienka and Wielicza. She also survived the Concentration Camp Plaszow, Auschwitz-Birkenau, including two death marches, Bergen Belsen, Gelenau and Mauthausen, where she was liberated at the concentration camp’s stone mines.

Mr. Mosberg’s overall message was to never forget the atrocities of the Holocaust and to spread awareness of what actually happened, from a first-hand account.

Edward Mosberg cannot forget certain images: A Nazi soldier ripping a baby from his mother’s arms and smashing the baby’s head against a wall; another soldier shooting through a rucksack to kill a hidden child. Among the six Holocaust survivors to meet with Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to the Yad Vashem Hall of Remembrance May 11, 2009, Mosberg, now an American and the only survivor from his extended family, said he would have liked a moment with Pope Benedict to tell him about his mother, father and two sisters, in addition to his aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents.

Mosberg, 88, and a resident of Union Township, was 13 years old when the Nazis entered his native Krakow, Poland, and put his family into the Krakow Ghetto.

But soon his father was killed and, one by one, his grandparents were taken to the gas chambers. When the Nazis liquidated the ghetto March 13, 1943, his remaining family was sent to the Plaszow concentration camp, which was where German Catholic businessman Oskar Schindler drew up his famous list, saving the lives of more than 1,000 Jews. Mosberg and his family, however, were not among those on the list.

From Plaszow, Mosberg’s mother and sisters were taken to the Nazi-run Auschwitz concentration camp, where his mother was killed in the gas chambers. His sisters, Helena and Carolina, were taken to the Stutthof concentration camp in Poland. On the night before liberation, they were among a group of 7,000 young women the Nazis shot, killed and threw into the Baltic Sea.

Mosberg said he survived because he was a strong teenager able to do all kinds of work. He was taken to the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria and forced to work in the stone mines, carrying heavy stones on his back up and down 186 steps all day.

“If you stopped for a moment, they either shot you or they pushed you off the cliff to your death,” he said.

Alone at 19 years old and ill, Mosberg spent eight months in Italy for medical treatment before returning to Krakow, where he met his wife, Cecile, and her father, the only survivors from their family.

Following their wedding in Belgium, in 1951 the couple moved to the United States, where Mosberg went into the construction business. Mosberg has been a developer in Parsippany since 1965, when he came to town as the local representative of the Wilf family, a real estate organization based in Millburn. Over the past four decades, his companies have built thousands of homes in Parsippany.

We can’t go with what was in the past. We have to go to with what will be,” said Mosberg, who has three daughters.

The Mosberg family lighting one of the six candles in remembrance of the mass murder of approximately six million Jews during World War II.
Historical remnants of the Holocaust.
These jackets worn by Edward (85454) and Cecile Mosberg (832654) when they were held captive in the Concentration Camps.

Mayor James Barberio presented a proclamation to Adath Shalom. The proclamation read:
Whereas, the Holocaust was the state-sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jews by Nazi Germany any and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945; and

Whereas, the military victory by United States armed forces and the Allies that brought liberation to the Nazi camps and the end to the Holocaust was great and brought tender compassion and generosity to those few survivors of these camps; and

Whereas, the United States became the homeland to many thousands of Holocaust survivors who, having deep appreciation for the freedom and opportunities afforded by this nation, greatly contributed to the culture and strength of their adopted homeland; and

Whereas, the Days of Remembrance have been set aside for remembering the inhumanity of those responsible for the Holocaust as well as remembering the need to respect all people; and

Whereas, as the result of an act of Congress, the United States Holocaust Memorial Council designates the 2014 Days of Remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust to be April 27 to May 4 including the International Day of Remembrance, Yom Hashoah, on April 27, 2014.

Whereas, I, James R. Barberio, Mayor of the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills, do hereby proclaim the week of Sunday, April 27 through Sunday, May 4, 2014 as Days of Remembrance in memory of the victims, the survivors and their liberators of the worst genocide in history. I further urge the citizens of Parsippany to strive to overcome intolerance and indifference through learning and remembrance. In addition, we must apply the lessons of the Holocaust to today’s world and do our utmost to ensure that all people enjoy the protection and rights afforded to them.

Signed James R. Barberio, Mayor of the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills

Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor James Barberio reading the Proclamation.

Of the nine million Jews who had resided in Europe before the Holocaust, approximately two-thirds were killed. Over one million Jewish children were killed in the Holocaust, as were approximately two million Jewish women and three million Jewish men. A network of over 40,000 facilities in Germany and German-occupied territory were used to concentrate, hold, and kill Jews and other victims.

The persecution and genocide were carried out in stages. Various laws to exclude the Jews from civil society, most prominently the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, were enacted in Germany before the outbreak of World War II in Europe. Concentration camps were established in which inmates were subjected to slave labor until they died of exhaustion or disease. Where Germany conquered new territory in eastern Europe, specialized paramilitary units called Einsatzgruppen murdered more than a million Jews and political opponents in mass shootings.

The occupiers required Jews and Romani to be confined in overcrowded ghettos before being transported by freight train to extermination camps where, if they survived the journey, most were systematically killed in gas chambers. Every arm of Germany’s bureaucracy was involved in the logistics that led to the genocides, turning the Third Reich into what one Holocaust scholar has called “a genocidal state”.

The term holocaust comes from the Greek word holókauston, referring to an animal sacrifice offered to a god in which the whole (olos) animal is completely burnt (kaustos). For hundreds of years, the word “holocaust” was used in English to denote great massacres. Since the 1960s, the term has come to be used by scholars and popular writers to refer to the Nazi genocide of Jews. The television mini-series Holocaust is credited with introducing the term into common parlance after 1978.