OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Edward Kaswan lost his father, mother and brother in a genocide of hatred that lasted for years. Shane Rosas lost his mother in an hate-fueled explosion that took only an instant.

Each took part in a ceremony Sunday to remember Holocaust victims at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, the site of the April 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building that killed 168 people.

The ceremony, held alongside the reflecting pool at the memorial, opened a series events planned over 10 days to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the bombing.

“Killing in the name of what you believe is never justified – not in Oklahoma, not in Israel, not anywhere in the world,” said Edie Roodman, executive director of the Jewish Foundation of Greater Oklahoma City.

Kaswan was one of six Holocaust survivors chosen to place a stone on a sculpture to symbolize the 6 million Jewish people killed in the Holocaust during World War II.

Kaswan was separated from his family at age 8 and shipped to England in 1938 to live with a Christian family during the war. His parents and brother, who were killed at the Auschwitz concentration camp, were among more than 80 family members who died in the Holocaust.

“For most people here, it’s an occasion of remembrance,” said Kaswan, who has lived in Oklahoma City for 25 years. “For some of us who survived it, it’s living it over and over again, and we do. We can’t help it.”

Rosas’ mother, Christy Rosas, was in her fifth day on the job as a receptionist at the Federal Employees Credit Union when a truck bomb exploded outside the Murrah building in April 1995. Rosas was 5 at the time.

Rosas also placed a stone on a sculpture at the memorial.

Bomber Timothy McVeigh was convicted of federal conspiracy and murder charges and executed on June 11, 2001. Conspirator Terry Nichols is serving multiple life sentences on federal and state charges.



On the Net:

Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City: www.jfedokc.org

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: www.ushmm.org


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