The Metropolitan Community Church of Rehoboth Beach hosted the Interfaith Holocaust Service May 2, sponsored by the Progressive Interfaith Alliance.
Members of many faith communities joined together to sing, pray and bear witness to the stories and memories of those who died during the Holocaust.
After a brief musical and prayer interlude, guest speaker Theodora Klayman told her story as rain and lightning pelted the church. She shared the story of her family and her survival. Klayman’s family was mostly wiped out during her childhood. Showing photographs of her family, she was able to explain her memories and her family stories.
When she was 3 years old, her mother, who was expecting her baby brother, sent her to stay with her grandparents. Klayman’s life was spared because she was hidden by aunts and family friends, and later, her 9-month-old brother was given to a housekeeper to allow him to be safely reunited with Klayman.
Her Catholic uncle, his wife, and her brother were the only ones in the family who survived. After the liberation, her uncle, who made it through the war, tried to find other members of the family. Upon finding Klayman and her brother, he adopted them after the war was over. Her brother later contracted scarlet fever and died in three days.
“In these very difficult months, your presence here gives me hope. We are united in fighting hate, fascists, and intolerance. Let’s have hope and say never again,” Klayman said to the gathered audience.