Twin Cities man ensures horrors of Holocaust aren't forgotten

Manny Gabler (FOX 9)

A Holocaust survivor in Minnesota is working hard to make sure the atrocities are never forgotten.

"Even to this day, sometimes when I speak, certain things happen that it brings tears to my eyes," said Gabler. "It never goes away."

Manny Gabler is one of a dwindling number of Holocaust survivors in Minnesota. His parents fled Nazi Germany when his mother was pregnant. Born a refugee, he and his younger brother grew up in a ghetto in Shanghai.

"Well, I think I’m thankful that Shanghai saved our lives because at that time, there was no place else to go in the world," said Gabler.

Now, 77 years after the end of the Holocaust, Gabler still often speaks in schools about it to make sure that history is never forgotten. He says current events in Ukraine serve to make those memories more real.

"When I speak somewhere, the people that are listening kind of have to make the images in their head and recently, in the last month, they saw everything I saw.. on television.. same old stuff," said Gabler.

Thursday night, at Temple Israel in Minneapolis, the first public Holocaust remembrance ceremony was held since 2019. Beginning with the emotional reading of names ceremony, just a portion of the six million people murdered.

(FOX 9)

The service that followed included a moving moment of silence. This mirrors the annual tradition in Israel on this Remembrance Day when a siren sounds and people stop what they’re doing, no matter where they are. Even traffic comes to a standstill to pause for two minutes and reflect on the horrors of genocide.

In 1988, Manny returned to that ghetto in Shanghai.

"When I walked up to the door frame, the nail holes from the Mezuzah were still there, Fifty years to the date that I’d been there," said Gabler.

Now, over two more decades have passed Manny hopes the memories never fade.

"The young people that I speak to, they ask me why do you do this," he said. "And I say you’re the storytellers of the future, so hopefully you’ll pass it on some."