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TO HONOR THE LIFE OF PINCUS KOLENDER, A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR WHO DEDICATED HIS LIFE TO EDUCATING PEOPLE ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST AND CHARGING THEM WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PREVENTING SIMILAR TRAGEDIES IN THE FUTURE.
Whereas, although his story as a Holocaust survivor was one of tragedy, Pincus Kolender's message was always one of inspiration and hope. Despite painful memories and the increasing discomfort he felt each time he retold his story, Mr. Kolender, a member of the Council on the Holocaust since its inception in 1989, continued to bear witness, to warn of the consequences of unchecked bigotry and hatred; and
Whereas, Pincus Kolender was born in Bochnia, Poland, near Krakow. He was thirteen when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939 and was first confined in a ghetto, where his mother was killed before his eyes during a "selection." From that ghetto, his grandmother, sister, and more than forty other relatives were removed, never to be seen again; and
Whereas, when he was sixteen, he was sent to Auschwitz, where he both suffered and witnessed the slave labor, starvation, beatings, torture, and other acts of unspeakable cruelty perpetrated by the Nazis upon the prisoners lodged in that death camp. After further trials lasting until American forces liberated him on May 8, 1945, Mr. Kolender waited for five years in Germany for a visa to enter the United States, where he settled in Charleston; and
Whereas, eventually, he opened Globe Furniture in that city, building the store into a fixture on upper King Street until he retired in 1989. He and his wife, Renee, also a survivor, now deceased, raised three children and enjoyed six grandchildren; and
Whereas, in the course of his life in the United States, Pincus Kolender spoke about his experiences in the Holocaust to probably more than two hundred thousand people over twenty-five years, accepting neither remuneration nor travel expenses and finding his reward in the hearts and minds he reached with his message; and
Whereas, in addition to his work with the South Carolina Council on the Holocaust, Mr. Kolender served on the boards of numerous Jewish charitable organizations, including Israel Bonds, Charleston Jewish Federation, and BSBI synagogue. Among his many awards are the Israel Freedom Award from Israel Bonds, the Rotary Service Above Self Award, and the Order of the Palmetto from Governor Mark Sanford. In February 2008, Pincus Kolender passed away at the venerable age of eighty-two, leaving behind an unforgettable legacy. He will be greatly missed. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:
That the members of the South Carolina General Assembly, by this resolution, honor the life of Pincus Kolender, a Holocaust survivor who dedicated his life to educating people about the Holocaust and charging them with the responsibility of preventing similar tragedies in the future.
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