LEWISTON — Dr. Julius Ciembroniewicz, a Holocaust survivor, was the guest speaker at Friday's “Lewiston Holocaust Day of Remembrance” hosted by Mayor Robert Macdonald at the Lewiston Public Library.
Ciembroniewicz shared his story of his father hiding him in a monastery outside of Krakow, Poland, during the war. He spoke of being alone with no guidance until others who hid there befriended him. Ciembroniewicz said he could not speak of the violence he endured but was able to unite with two of his family members after the war ended.
The noon event was held in commemoration of the National Days of Remembrance, which are April 15 to 22 this year.
The theme was “Choosing to Act — Stories of Rescue,” and a video clip featuring rescuers of Jews was also shown, compliments of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
Ciembroniewicz’s remarks were warmly received, with area resident Bette Swett-Thibeault sharing with him that his comments made her want to weep and encouraged him to write a book of what he and his family endured.
Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald presented Ciembroniewicz, a local neurosurgeon, with a proclamation noting, “It is my hope that we forever advocate for freedom and human dignity, as well as stand against hate whenever and wherever it occurs.”
Rabbi Hillel Katzir provided an opening blessing for the event.