March 27, 2023

The park is for everybody from all walks of life to assemble in peace and witness each other’s humanity.

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David Shentow, the late Holocaust survivor and educator, summoned the braveness to relive his darkest, most painful days, many times, so the world can be left with future generations of “witnesses”.

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“Hell on earth” are the phrases he used when telling the story of Auschwitz. Regardless of how painful, he shared his story with audiences all over the world after listening to rumblings of Holocaust deniers.

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He couldn’t sleep for days after telling his story, however he saved on telling it — in honour of the victims and to present the world a horrifying eyewitness account of the risks of hatred.

Shentow died in 2017 on the age of 92 and his legacy was honoured Sunday as individuals gathered on Tillbury Avenue to call a tree-lined park after him.

“When David first realized there have been individuals denying the Holocaust — denying all of the struggling he went by way of — David knew he needed to act,” Bram Bregman, vice-president of Neighborhood Constructing on the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, instructed the group Sunday afternoon.

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“I stated there after which, I might crawl on my fingers and knees all the way in which to Auschwitz-Birkenau, or anyplace else, to inform my story to anybody who was keen to hear,” Shentow as soon as stated.

“I’ll do it so long as I’ve the vitality, as a result of as soon as I’m gone, the second generations … all they’ll say is, ‘My mother and father instructed me,’ or, ‘My grandparents instructed me.’ That’s one more reason why I discuss to varsities. As a result of once I discuss it, I all the time really feel I’m not the one witness anymore. All these individuals who hear me, they’re the witnesses now.”

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The park is for everybody from all walks of life to assemble in peace and witness each other’s humanity.

David Shentow, pictured on the eve of his 85th birthday, died in 2017 at the age of 92.
David Shentow, pictured on the eve of his eighty fifth birthday, died in 2017 on the age of 92. Picture by Bruno Schlumberger /Postmedia

“It’s not only a park — it’s a testomony to David’s legacy. And if we’ve got really realized from David, allow us to have the braveness to make use of this area to make pals with those that stroll these identical paths, to share our tales and construct neighborhood, and collectively try and take motion for a greater future,” Bregman stated.

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Mayor Jim Watson addressed the group and described the late Shentow as inspiring.

Teddy Lubimzev nominated his famend grandfather-in-law for the honour and gave an eloquent and emotional tribute on the ceremony, which included the revealing of the memorial park signal.

When Shentow was liberated from the Dachau focus camp on April 29, 1945 — his twentieth birthday — he weighed simply 76 kilos, however carried extra reminiscences than most males might bear.

He had survived the Nazi occupation of Belgium, a forced-labour camp, the Auschwitz focus camp, the Warsaw Ghetto, a dying march and Dachau.

He went dwelling to Antwerp, Belgium, within the hope of reuniting with family. Though he had heard his mom, father and two sisters had perished in Nazi dying camps, he thought a few of his aunts, uncles and cousins would possibly come again to the Jewish Neighborhood Centre.

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The lonely weeks that adopted have been probably the most painful of his life.

“I noticed I’m the one one,” he as soon as instructed this newspaper. “Out of 17 individuals, I’m the one one who got here again.”

Shentow would begin a brand new life in Canada, and go on to turn out to be one among Ottawa’s best-known Holocaust survivors and educators. For 3 a long time, he was a tireless witness to historical past, struggling his reminiscences in school rooms, auditoriums and museums in order that others might perceive the reality of the “Ultimate Resolution” — the Nazi coverage that systematically killed virtually two out of each three European Jews by 1945.

With recordsdata from Andrew Duffy

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