Akron-Summit Council on Holocaust & Genocide Education to host commemoration, awards ceremony April 26

AKRON, Ohio – The Akron-Summit Council on Holocaust & Genocide Education will host the 34th annual Akron-Summit Holocaust Commemoration and Awards Ceremony April 26 at 6 pm in the Akron-Summit County Public Library’s main branch auditorium, 60 S. High St. , Akron.

The commemoration event is free and open to the public. Attendees are asked to arrive by 5:45 pm

Emma Kaufmann Rose, author of “Saving Six Million: A Holocaust Memoir,” will speak at the event. Rose, 26, is the granddaughter of children of the Holocaust Ingrid Kennedy and Joseph Kennedy, both Akron residents.

The memoir is a true story about the lives of Joszi Kaufmann (Joseph Kennedy) born in Budapest, Hungary in 1928, and Ingeborg Hausen (Ingrid Kennedy) born in Vienna, Austria in 1936. Though neither was in a concentration camp, both witnessed the horror of war. The memoir chronicles their lives and achievements through the perspective of their granddaughter. A chemist, Joseph Kennedy, 93, has worked at the University of Akron since 1970. During his time there, he has received several patents for his medical discoveries and life-saving inventions.

The book was a personal project for Rose, a resident of Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood, who spent more than two years writing it and gave it to her grandparents as a surprise last Hanukkah.

“They were shell-shocked,” Rose said. “They have not stopped talking about it. They said it is the best present they have ever gotten.”

Rose said it means a great deal to her to be selected to speak at the event because she considers her grandparents’ experiences to be “minor” compared to those who experienced the horrors of concentration camps firsthand. But she still believes it’s important to preserve and share the stories, particularly in a time when some individuals attempt to deny or distort the Holocaust. The Kennedys plan to attend the event, according to Rose.

Winners of the Akron-Summit Holocaust Arts & Writing Contest will be announced at the event. The annual contest features artwork and writings by Summit County students in grades 6-12 that aim to educate community members about the Holocaust and other genocides. Winning students’ works will be on display at the Akron-Summit Main Library from April 4-May 2 and on the contest website.

“Each year, this event encourages all of us to take a pause to remember the millions lost as a result of the Holocaust,” said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan in a news release. “This important gathering of fosters awareness which in turn helps in preventing such atrocities in the future. I look forward to attending and honoring the winners of the Akron-Summit Holocaust Arts & Writing Contest, which provides thousands of students the opportunity to learn the lessons of the Holocaust, while expressing themselves through art and writing.”

The ceremony will be hosted by Martin H. Belsky, a University of Akron Law Professor and Akron-Summit Council on Holocaust and Genocide Education Chair. The Akron-Summit Council on Holocaust & Genocide Education is supported by Summit County, the City of Akron and donations. To make a donation, visit the Akron-Summit Council on Holocaust and Genocide Education website.

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