aiding-nazisCity officials were reminded that “New York City today numbers among its citizens more survivors of the Holocaust than any other city in the world” but still lacks a proper memorial to the victims 40 years after those events.

The need for a New York City Holocaust Memorial Center that would also serve archival and research functions, was stressed by Richard Berman, the New York State Housing Commissioner, and others who appeared at a hearing of the Mayor’s Holocaust Memorial Task Force here yesterday. Berman appeared in his capacity as chairman of the Jewish Community Relations Council’s New York Holocaust Commission.

The Holocaust Memorial Task Force was established by Mayor Edward Koch last July to determine what kind of memorial should be created, where it should be located and what it would cost. The Task Force will create a special committee to see the project through.

Herbert Rickman, a special assistant to the Mayor, stressed that the memorial would not be paid for out of city funds. “The funding will come from the Jewish community, the community as a whole, ” he said, noting “the city’s dire fiscal constraints.” The hearing was presided over by George Klein, Task Force chairman.

Would Preserve the Memory of the Six Million

Berman said the proposed memorial would “preserve at one and the same time the memory of the six million martyrs, the record of their deaths and the legacy of the flourishing civilization that was so bestially destroyed.”

He observed- “It is almost beyond comprehension that today, 40 years after those dark days of destruction, in this great city of ours, this cosmopolitan world capital, home to more Jews than any city in the diaspora and the very heart and center of American Jewish life, there is still no proper memorial to the martyrs of the Holocaust.”

Berman added, “We envision a Memorial Center that will draw on its documentary resources for a continuing series of exhibits that will have an educational and emotional impact on the public and especially on our school-age population, and would visually enhance the educational experience that the present New York City Holocaust curriculum provides.”