Mahli Lieblich

Founding Director

Sacred Grounds Foundation


There was an emerging movement in the world. With the coming of age of people born after World War II, Jewish children of American Holocaust Survivors began

to find one another, learning that their growing up common experiences were very different from those of their American counterparts whose parents were untouched by the Shoah. They became known as 2Gs - Second Generation children of survivors. Intuitively, they discovered each other and became kindred souls through verbal and non verbal cues. Soon groups formed and gathered around major American cities learning from each other. From New York to Los Angeles 2Gs began reaching out not only helping to heal their survivor parents and themselves, but also teaching the outside world about the events of the Holocaust and its after effects. Simultaneously, there were seminal people who spurred research on the subject such as Dr. Eva Fogelman, Dr. Michael Berenbaum, Helen Epstein, Rositta Kenigsberg, Menachem Rosensaft, Esq., Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff,

and Steven Spielberg as well as many others, all post war children trying

to understand a world turned upside down and trying to turn it right side up.

Mahli Lieblich was there becoming involved and participating over many years, leading groups and creating events and programs. She was part of the

Steven Spielberg Survivor of the Shoah interview team as one of the few fluent Yiddish speaking interviewers. She led 2G groups under the auspices of the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center, and traveled the world fostering understanding and bridges of commonality among various nations

and cultures.


As satisfying as these endeavors were, Mahli nevertheless felt an unease

and emptiness as if something was missing. Though involved in understanding

the Shoah, getting to know her fellow 2Gs, and honoring parents, she wondered about six million souls and and silently asked 'who were they’? An entire

group of people was left unaddressed - the actual victims of the Holocaust. Memorial services and candles, oral history projects and published memoirs

all helped to create awareness of the Shoah and those who were touched by it. But what about those who perished? Where were their grave sites. Who will

come to mourn them and where? Who will speak for them after the survivors

and their children have all gone?


The souls at Auschwitz-Birkenau cried out Zahor -


“ Remember. Remember what happened here. Remember me”


And Mahli Lieblich heard their pleas and went about finding an answer.


“ To this day, the world’s largest cemetery of Jews and other people murdered by the Nazis lay decaying without honoring the murdered - an act tantamount to further desecrating their memories. This injustice continues. The infamous death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau has been turned into a National Museum of Poland without plans of building a Memorial for the over one million victims murdered there”.


Of all the roads and various directions life has given Mahli her one final journey seems to be the most important. She believes that the horrors man created man can also rectify. It is part of the belief that we are here to heal the world and not destroy it. So began the long journey to create a permanent, lasting Memorial to

all people killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Mahli approached everyone she could think of to generate interest and involvement in the project. After many years of devoting herself to an idea of honoring those lost before us what you see on these pages is her labor of love coming to fruition - Sacred Grounds. A place of memory, reverence and remembrance for the souls left in the ashes, unremembered in the Holocaust. Sacred Grounds - a place to reflect, mourn and pray. A place where the names of the martyrs will live forever.

 
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