“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” Elie Wiesel

Naval Academy to honor Holocaust survivor for work with midshipmen

Naval Academy to honor Holocaust survivor for work with midshipmen

Naval Academy to honor Holocaust survivor for work with midshipmen

The U.S. Naval Academy will honor a Holocaust survivor Wednesday for 20 years of teaching midshipmen about the mass genocide.

Superintendent Vice Admiral Ted Carter will give Nesse Godin a certificate of appreciation for her work with academy. Godin, who was born in 1928 into an observant Lithuanian Jewish family, has given lectures at the academy on the midshipmen’s “professional and individual responsibility to make ethical decisions and help prevent genocide and mass atrocities in the future,” according to a news release.

Godin, of Silver Spring, recently announced she would retire from speaking engagements, according to the release. She will receive the certificate at a ceremony Wednesday morning at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

In June of 1941, the Nazis invaded Godin’s town, Siauliai, home to more than 10,000 Jews. She and her family were forced to live in a ghetto for about two years, according to the museum’s website. Her father was deported to Auschwitz, where he and thousands of others were killed in the gas chambers.

Godin, her mother and one of her brothers were eventually deported to the Stutthof concentration camp. She would be sent to several other concentration camps over the years. And in January 1945, she was one of the 1,000 female prisoners sent on a death march, where they were forced to march in the cold with no food, water or rest.

When the Soviet army liberated the group about three months later, only 200 women were still alive, according to the website. About six million Jews died during the course of the Holocaust.

After the liberation, Godin reunited with her mother. She married a Polish Holocaust survivor, and she and her family moved to Washington, D.C. in the 1950s.

For decades, Godin has been an advocate for Holocaust education and has been a volunteer for the museum.

posted from the Capital Gazette

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