Northbrook daffodils planted as Holocaust memorial


NORTHBROOK, Ill. — Hundreds of daffodils were planted in suburban Northbrook Sunday as part of a living memorial for the children murdered during the Holocaust.

Holocaust survivor Gdalina Novitsky helped plant seeds of remembrance outside the Jewish Community Center’s Chicago center in Northbrook.

“Daffodil is a very resilient plant like Jewish people — like people who went through Holocaust — and they got six yellow pieces like this it resembles [the] Jewish star [of] David,” Novitsky said.

She was born in June 1938 in Kiev, which is Ukraine’s capital today, but it was a city within the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics back then. While her father went to fight in the war, she vividly remembers fleeing it with her mother.

“The train was heading easterly and behind us were Nazis. They bombed trains, not only ours. What I saw, I wish nobody would see,” Novitsky said.

Rachael Finkel, Senior Manager for Family Programs at JCC Chicago, said it’s important to emulate the stories of Holocaust, as many survivors are no longer with us.

Finkel manages family programs with JCC Chicago.  The Daffodil Project is building a living Holocaust memorial at locations across the world to honor the 1.5 million children who were murdered during the Holocaust.

“We hope to continue to come back with families in the spring when the flowers bloom,” Finkel said. “We’re hoping to have the kids paint river rocks and do some more planting and something continuous every year.”

Novitsky said she is obligated to continue sharing her story for the six million Jews, 1.5 million children and to fight all atrocities like this and make sure they never happen again.

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