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Holocaust Survivor Tells Of Shanghai Ghetto

Doris Fogel at the Holocaust Memorial Ceremony
Brian Mackey/WUIS

Illinois officials are remembering the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust. An annual ceremony took place Thursday in Springfield's Old State Capitol.

Praying: "Y'hey sh'lama raba min sh'ma-ya ..."

The ceremony included the Kaddish — a Jewish prayer of mourning. Gov. Pat Quinn and other officials spoke. Then a survivor shared her story.

Doris Fogel was age four and living in Berlin on Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass, when synagogues and Jewish businesses were destroyed across Germany and Austria.

That was 1938. The next year, family friends arranged passage to China.

"The port city of Shanghai was, for many Jews, after the terrifying events of Kristallnacht, the last refuge that could be reached without a passport, visa, or affidavit — unlike the United States and Canada, who had already closed their doors," Fogel said.

After nearly a decade in sometimes terrible conditions, she left Shanghai and came to the United States, settling in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Fogel, who will soon be 80, says it is incumbent upon the survivors, the living, to remember what happened — to "never forget."

Doris Fogel lights one of six candles at the Holocaust Memorial Ceremony.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS
NPR Illinois
Doris Fogel, left, lit one of six candles at the Holocaust Memorial Ceremony in Springfield. Each candle represents one million Jews killed by the Nazis.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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