RANCHO MIRAGE —Jerry Gerhard Moses of Cathedral City.was honored as a Holocaust survivor on Friday morning. Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, and the Tolerance Education Center hosted the ceremony.
According to its website, the mission of the Tolerance Education Center is to promote tolerance, civility, respect and understanding by the elimination of atrocities, hatred and bigotry. The hope is that visitors will leave with a mind-set that rejects prejudice and hate, questions stereotypes, and promotes diversity. The Tolerance Education Center was founded by Holocaust survivor Earl Greif in 2006, and opened its doors to the public in 2009. Children are brought to the Tolerance Education Center on field trips to hear first-hand accounts of bigotry and hatred told by those who have survived including survivors of the Holocaust, Cambodian genocide, Japanese internment camps or victims of hate crimes against the LGBT community.
“Amid the last generation of Holocaust survivors, we must do everything possible to preserve these stories so that the world never forgets this harrowing chapter of history, Garcia said. “Jerry’s reflections place in focus the increasing importance of instilling tolerance, acceptance, and respect within future generations. These lessons are still very much relevant in today’s word as we endeavor to dispel hate.”
Moses was born in 1934 in Breslau, Germany. Under Hitler’s rule, his family’s nationality was revoked, and at a young age, he and his family were forced to flee Germany, according to Garcia. It was exceedingly challenging to find a new home that would accept a Jewish family.
One week before being sent to Auschwitz, he and his family were able to seek asylum in Shanghai, China. After narrowly escaping the concentration camps, Moses and his family stayed the duration of the war in Shanghai’s Hongkew District (now known as Hongkou).
Moses credits the people of Shanghai with saving his and his family’s life; recalling the incredible kindness of the residents who were willing to share whatever they had with the Jewish refugees.
Estimates of the number of remaining survivors vary greatly and depend in part on how one defines a survivor, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The Museum honors as survivors any persons, Jewish or non-Jewish, who were displaced, persecuted, or discriminated against due to the racial, religious, ethnic, and political policies of the Nazis and their allies between 1933 and 1945. In addition to former inmates of concentration camps, ghettos, and prisons, this definition includes, among others, people who were refugees or were in hiding.
The Registry of Holocaust Survivors currently contains the names of more than 195,000 survivors and family members and we are adding more every day. A growing number of these individuals, who registered their names and historical information over the last 15 years, are now deceased, according to the Museum.
The Registry is a voluntary and testimonial list, and is by no means a comprehensive list of all survivors, the Museum emphasizes. Furthermore, most of the survivors in our database live in the United States or Canada, although we have registrations from survivors and family members from 59 countries.
- Jerry Moses and Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia: Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia
- Assemblyman Garcia & Jerry Moses: Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia