Over the years hundreds of survivors of the Holocaust have visited New Jersey classrooms, assemblies, and ceremonies to share their stories. They were the faces and voices of history, and to kids across the state they bore witness to a darker — almost unimaginable — epoch.
As time passes, the visitors are fewer. There were an estimated 5,000 Holocaust survivors living in New Jersey in 2005, according to official count. There are barely 2,000 now, a diminishing circle of mostly old men and women who can speak firsthand about what happened at Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, and other concentration camps.
How to offset that inevitable winnowing was the focus of a gathering yesterday of more than 300 survivors and their families who met in a dining hall at Mercer County Community College to commemorate their own lives and reflect on how to keep those memories alive for generations ahead.