Although Edward Mosberg managed to live through torture and imprisonment at the Plaszow and Mauthausen concentration camps, all 16 members of his family were murdered by the Nazis.
It was the pleas of those family members and other victims that he heard in a postwar visit to the death camps. “I could hear the cries of my family and 600,000 Jews. They said, ‘Don’t forget us.’”
Speaking May 2 at the City of Newark’s annual Holocaust remembrance program, Mosberg, a native of Cracow, Poland, spoke in a voice that cracked with sorrow and anger of gas chambers and starvation, of “the murders of men, women, children, and infants,” and of death marches “where the snow turned red with the victims’ blood.”
He began his address to an audience of fellow survivors and students from seven area high schools with a display of concentration camp artifacts, uniforms, and Nazi weapons. “To forget and forgive would mean you killed the victims a second time,” he said. “We cannot allow them to be killed again. We have no right to forgive. Only the dead can forgive.”
Concluding his address, Mosberg told his predominately young audience that “the Germans deprived me of my youth. My children do not know what it means to have uncles, aunts, cousins, a grandmother. This I will never forgive and I will never forget.”
“Today we remember not just to reflect on the horror of death and hatred and bigotry and destruction,” said Newark Mayor Cory Booker in a brief address. “We remember that Martin Luther King said so clearly that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are part of one human family with interwoven destinies.”
Echoing the mayor, the organizer of the memorial, real estate developer Miles Berger, told the students, “You have a powerful voice in society. What you learn for today’s remembrance and what you think and say about it will define the world of our future…. You can tell the stories to your children and keep the history alive.”