Survivors’ daughter to address Holocaust service in Stoughton

The daughter of Holocaust survivors is scheduled to speak at a commemoration in Stoughton next week in one of a handful of remembrance events planned in the south suburbs.

Gila Kriegel, 57, of Sharon, said she will use two first-person accounts written by her late father, Jacob Wiener, in her address: a speech he gave at a similar service on Long Island 25 years ago, and a letter he wrote after World War II from Heidelberg, Germany, to his only living relative at the time, his brother in Israel.

“I know he was an incredibly talented and brilliant person, and I am proud to be able to share that,” Kriegel said. “It’s sad that we don’t have enough survivors to speak.”


Her mother, Sarah Wiener, is also a Holocaust survivor.

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Kriegel said that shortly after her uncle’s death, her cousins unearthed letters her father had written to his brother. For some time each Sunday, she said, she and a half-dozen or so friends worked to translate the letters from Hebrew.

She said she will read a letter in which her father reminisced about observing the Jewish festival of Purim as a child.

Purim celebrates the rescue of Jews from destruction in ancient Persia.

“It’s amusing what it was like before the war and how that story impacted him as he was surviving throughout the war,” Kriegel said.


The annual Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Day in Stoughton will include a candle lighting and a reading of names. This year’s theme, “Righteous Gentiles,” will be led by high school students reading the stories of a number of non-Jews who helped save Jews, said Joyce Greenwald, a member of the committee organizing the event.

“We really try to target all ages,” she said. “Just trying to make sure that the whole notion is about remembering what happened, so that it isn’t repeated.”

She said all are welcome at the observance on Sunday, April 23, at 7 p.m., at Temple Ahavath Torah. It’s sponsored by Temple Beth Emunah of Brockton, Temple Beth Abraham and Temple Beth David of Canton, Temple Chayai Shalom of Easton, Temple Ahavath Torah of Stoughton, and Adath Sharon Sisterhood, Temple Israel, and Temple Sinai of Sharon.

Other observances:

The Plymouth No Place For Hate Committee and Plymouth Area Interfaith Clergy Association will sponsor a community observance of Yom HaShoah on Tuesday, April 25, at 7 p.m., at Beth Jacob Synagogue. The free event will feature a speaker, Ronnie Hirschhorn, as well as a chorus and music ensemble.


In Hingham, Congregation Sha’aray Shalom will host a Yom HaShoah program and a violin performance on Monday, April 24, at 6:30 p.m.

There will be an optional dinner at 6 p.m. for $10.

Temple Beth Sholom in Hull will hold a free Yom HaShoah text study on Monday, April 24, at 6:30 p.m. in the Asnes Chapel.

Alejandro Serrano
can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @serrano_alej.