JT reporter Connor Graham interviewed Pikesville native Armand “Steve” Baklor, 96, who served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1943 to 1946. During that time, Baklor’s regiment liberated the Dachau Concentration Camp in Bavaria, Germany. He not only photographed the atrocities he saw throughout the camp, but also interrogated the German soldiers on site.
“I’m convinced that the world is made up of civilized people and barbaric people,” Baklor said. “The barbarians look just like us. And sometimes they cause us civilized people to behave in a barbaric way.”
As victims and witnesses of the Holocaust die and their numbers dwindle, Baklor knows his story has value.
“There aren’t many times when one can do something that means something to other people,” Baklor said. “I think that what I’m talking about maybe means something to other people. And maybe not all, but some, will rethink what they are doing. I feel that I have a duty to say it.”
On May 5, the Baltimore Jewish Council is holding its annual Yom HaShoah event from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, 7401 Park Heights Ave. in Pikesville, and JT reporter Susan Ingram previews it. The event, “U.S. Efforts to Save Jews During the Holocaust,” also marks the 75th anniversary of the War Refugee Board, created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in January of 1944. The board helped get millions of dollars in funds overseas to aid relief and refugee efforts and encouraged neutral countries to offer safe haven, among other efforts. Gretchen Skidmore, director of education initiatives at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, will be giving the keynote address at the event.
In this first week of May, we also commemorate Yom Hazikaron (Israel Memorial Day) and celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day). JT reporter Victoria Brown highlights all the commemorations and celebrations that are happening all around the Baltimore area.
Susan also breaks down the latest news on the deadly shooting at a Chabad synagogue in Poway, California, and gets local Baltimore response to the incident. Baltimore’s Jewish community was swift to react to the San Diego shooting, as were national Jewish organizations. The Baltimore Jewish Council and The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore released a statement Saturday evening condemning the Shabbat tragedy.