A graveside funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. today in West Ashley’s Emanu-El Cemetery for Charleston leader Joe Engel, a Holocaust survivor who spread a message of hope when reminding people about the atrocities of war.

Engel, a 95-year-old Polish native who had been in declining health for the last month, died on Saturday morning, reportedly of liver failure.

“He represented so much to the community, and his passing represents the end of an era of living testimony of the Holocaust,” a friend, Martin Perlmutter, told The Post and Courier. Perlmutter is former director of the College of Charleston’s Jewish Studies Program.

As a teenager, Engel was forced into the Birkenau and Auschwitz death camps in Poland. After he was rescued by Allied forces in 1945, he emigrated four years later to Charleston, where he opened Glamour Cleaners on King Street in 1955.

“Joe dedicated his life to talking to students and other groups about the atrocities of the Nazis,” according to his obituary. “He spoke to countless organizations relaying what he saw with his own eyes, making sure that the six million Jews, including 1.5 million innocent children, killed by the Nazis during World War II are never forgotten. Joe selflessly traveled throughout South Carolina to tell his story to tens of thousands of students in the hopes of educating a new generation of leaders to prevent a future Holocaust.”

  • CP OPINION, Brack: Taylor’s new book is culinary treasure. “Now comes a culinary treasure for which we must sing hearty praises – food historian John Martin Taylor’s new book of essays, Charleston to Phnom Penh: A Cook’s Journal. This collection of musings, some previously published, is a 240-age celebration of a life rooted in the South Carolina Lowcountry and influenced by food and wine from the Caribbean, France, Italy, eastern Europe and Cambodia, where Taylor now lives.”

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Great ways to give back this holiday season

Brack: Taylor’s delightful new book is a culinary treasure

S.C. loaded with potholes, national study says