Forman Shares Family Stories of Escaping Germany on Holocaust Remembrance Day

(File photograph.)

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Diane Forman shares her mother’s and grandparents’ experiences of living through the first six years of the Third Reich before finally escaping Germany in 1939 this Friday when Temple Emanu-El in Haverhill commemorates Yom HaSho’ah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Once in the United States, Forman’s relatives attempted to assimilate and hide their Jewish background, but ancestral trauma has haunted the family for 80 years. Forman, a writer, tutor and editor discusses her healing journey to reclaim her German and Jewish roots and to honor her family memories.

Yom HaSho’ah, an annual day of remembrance of the victims of the Sho’ah, or Holocaust, was established by the Knesset in 1951 and is observed by Jewish communities worldwide. Sho’ah, which means “catastrophe” or “utter destruction” in Hebrew, refers to the atrocities committed against the Jewish people during World War II.

“The trauma of the Sho’ah reverberates through successive generations of Jewish families,” said Cantor Vera Broekhuysen, spiritual leader of Temple Emanu-El. “So too does the work of healing and resilience. Diane Forman teaches eloquently about her own family’s four-generation journey of surviving and thriving, though carrying catastrophic loss.”

The service will feature traditional Sabbath liturgy, songs and readings, and will include the participation of members of the Greater Haverhill Clergy Association.

The service takes place Friday, April 21, 7 p.m., at Temple Emanu-El, 514 Main St., Haverhill. Those wishing to attend via Zoom may click through from the temple’s website,

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