Humbled, Honored by Leo Bretholz


On April 27, the Baltimore Jewish Council hosted its annual Yom HaShoah commemoration at Beth Tfiloh. It was a moving reminder of the tragedy of the Holocaust and a tribute to the survivors and their families. The JT article (“Legacy of Loss,” April 18) reminds us of the importance of keeping that history alive.

In the ceremony, Tova Tenenbaum recounted the late Leo Bretholz’s story of flight and survival, and then Sen. Ben Cardin told of Mr. Bretholz’s efforts with the Maryland General Assembly in 2011.

Legislation was introduced — we were all sponsors of Senate Bill 479 and House Bill 520 — which would require any entity bidding on a state transportation contract to disclose specific information about its role in World War II deportations. This mainly applied to the French railroad SNCF, which transported thousands of Jews to death camps, and from which Mr. Bretholz escaped.

Mr. Bretholz came to Annapolis to testify, and we were proud to be able to take the extra step of introducing him in the House and Senate to the entire General Assembly. His presence was key to ensuring that the bills passed unanimously.

Leo Bretholz died in March, but his efforts and legacy, along with that of all other survivors, will live on. We were humbled and honored to meet him and to support him on these important issues.

Del. Dan Morhaim (District 11)                                             
Del. Dana Stein (District 11)
Del. Sandy Rosenberg (District 41)
Del. Kirill Reznik (District 39)
Sen. Bobby Zirkin (District 11)

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  1. Thank you to the various Delegates and Sen. Bobby Zirkin for signing on this Letter To The Editor. That would be the only way the commmunity would know that the Yom Hashoah Commemoration April 27th, 2014 at Beth Tfiloh was held. As a member of the Baltimore community since we came from Europe, a community that welcomed us and helped u. Myself, My wonderful parents, Joseph Kryszpel z”l and Paula Kryszpel, I am proud and grateful for what many would consider of the most dignified,serious, spiritual, creative Holocaust Commemoration Baltimore has witnessed. The Committee that put this together did an outstanding job. A memorial to the holocaust survivors who are not here with us anymore and a respectful acknowlegement of the ones still with us. Thank you .


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