Ruth Glasberg Gold
In June, 1996, I was invited to the “International Scholars' Conference on The Fate of Romanian and Ukrainian Jewry Under the Antonescu Regime” at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington,D.C. and give a lecture on the topic of my book RUTH'S JOURNEY: A Survivor's Memoir, which recounts my experience as a child under that regime.
the conference, I was privileged to lay the wreath
at the eternal flame in the Hall of Remembrance to honor the 300,000
victims who perished in Transnistria. While I felt very emotional
about that honor, I was deeply saddened to notice that the name of
TRANSNISTRIA was nowhere to be seen on the walls alongside the names
of all the recognized concentration
After my presentation, I made a plea to the Research Institute to correct this oversight on behalf of both victims and survivors. I also took it upon myself to right an egregious wrong.
that time, Walter
Reich was the Director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in
Washington, D.C. I wrote him several letters
but I received no answer. Once I succeeded in getting him on the
phone. His first reaction was: “We can not put up the name of every
little shtetl.” And, “since
Transnistria is not the name of a town, but a region
might want to put up the name Odessa."
to say that upset and infuriated me. It took
quite some explaining on my part until Dr. Reich realized the meaning
of Transnistria. Still, he was not willing to add the name to the
wall with the other concentration camps.
At this point, I decided to initiate a worldwide petition drive to Transnistria survivors. I wrote dozens of letters, made countless calls and forwarded 660 signed petitions to the U.S. Holocaust Council and Museum.
two years before my efforts were crowned with success; the Museum
officially recognized that tragic chapter of the Holocaust.
A year later the architect designed a plan to add the name TRANSNISTRIA to the panels listing concentration camps on the wall in the HALL of REMEMBRANCE.
Dr. Reich has been replaced by Mrs. Sara
Bloomfield, and in 1998 the project was
finished. At this point I suggested to
Mrs. Bloomfield that an official date for the unveiling ceremony
should be scheduled and all Transnistria survivors invited to be
present at this solemn moment for which we patiently waited and
yearned for so many years.
I thought it would be most appropriate that
the unveiling be linked to the forthcoming visit of president,
Constantinescu, the first Romanian President to acknowledge his
country’s participation in the genocide of 300,000 Romanian Jews
during the Holocaust. It would also be one more
strike against the deniers
and other countries.
Bloomfield together with Mr. Martin Goldman, Director, Office of
Survivor Affairs agreed, and invited all the survivors and their
families to come to Washington D.C. on April 17&18, 1999 to pay
tribute to the victims of the Holocaust in Romania. There were over 300
people in the audience.
rest is history.
Ruth Glasberg Gold - 2011
Speech given at the Unveiling Ceremony by Ruth Glasberg Gold April 18th 1999
Article in Die Stimme in German
describing the Unveiling