SHEEPSHEAD BAY - John Ranz doesn't like to think about the Holocaust, but he can't forget. As Yom HaShoah nears, he's keeping the painful memories alive.

The Holocaust remembrance day is Friday, May 2. The 88-year-old Sheepshead Bay resident recently released his second book about the atrocities in time for Yom HaShoah. "It's like the people before they died told me ? please fight against it so it shouldn't happen to other Jewish people," Ranz says.

Ranz, who is married to another Holocaust survivor, Nitzah, was born in Poland. He was 19 when the Nazis invaded. He later learned that his relatives were taken to Auschwitz, where they were immediately killed in gas chambers.

He believes Yom HaShoah is not only about remembering the brutality of the Holocaust, but also about reclaiming one's dignity.

Ranz is one of about 22,000 Holocaust survivors who call Brooklyn home, giving the borough the nation's largest such population.

Museum of Jewish Heritage