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For 17-year-old essay winner Jessica Blank, keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive is something she takes very seriously. Her friend and mentor, Hedy Brasch, whom she met through the program Adopt-a-Survivor, was just 14 years old when she was deported with her mother and sister to Auschwitz. Though Jessie and Hedy grew up years and worlds apart, they are deeply connected by a solemn vow. When Jessie is 56 years old, on the 100th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, she has promised to retell Hedy's story of survival. "I have made this promise because I want Mrs. Brasch's story to live forever," she says.
"Many of the survivors, they feel that they are going to be forgotten and maybe just a heap in the ashes of history," Hedy says. "Whenever people are discriminated against, [Jessie] will take a stand."
The Adopt-a-Survivor program is locally operated and based in New York. If you are interested in more information, contact Irving Roth, Director of the Holocaust Resource Center at Temple Judea of Manhasset, by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.