Elie Wiesel, Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor
The founder of the Tolerance Education Center , Earl Greif, recalls the courageous tale of a young man and his younger brother escaping the Holocaust through the forests of Poland.
Henry was born in Brody, Poland. In 1941, when he was 14, Nazi Germany occupied his town. The Freidman family was Jewish so what most people thought was unimaginable began to unfold right before their eyes. Henry and his family hid on a farm owned by the Symchucks, a Christian family. For 18 months the Symchucks hid Henry and his family in a space the size of a queen sized bed. The Symchucks have been recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations”.
Michele shares her mother’s remarkable journey from her childhood in Leipzig, to her escape on the Kindertransport, to her life after the war.
Yoka was born in Holland. Her parents and brother went into hiding in 1942 while she was sent to live in 12 to 16 different places during the same time. She was 2 ½ years old and all she understood was that she was moved every couple of months and it was dangerous to hide a little girl like her. She couldn’t use her own name and found the rules to be different with each family she stayed with. When she was 5 she was reunited with parents she did not know. Her family never spoke with her abo
Mike Resmo was born in 1928 in Kolozsvar, Transylvania. in June 1943, when Mike was 15, he and his family were imprisoned by the Hungarian Iron Guard and were moved to a brickyard shed with other Jewish families.
Eventually they were transported by cattle car to Auschwitz.
Leo Mittler was interned at just 14 years old and endured 7 brutal camps over three and a half years. Given a “name” of 35230, he stands as testament to the brutal realities of the Holocaust as well as the indomitable strength of humanity.
She survived several concentration camps - Terezin, Auschwitz, a slave labor camp in Hamburg, and Bergen-Belsen, the camp where Anne Frank died. There are not even words to describe the daily fear that followed her everywhere. They lived “just like animals” with almost no food and no water. Her experiences on the overcrowded cattle cars, parading in front of Dr. Mengele hoping to be selected to live, and digging trenches when bombs were falling all around them cannot be comprehended.
Born in an area of Czechoslovakia, In 1944 she was forced into a ghetto (a brick factory with no walls) with her father, sister, and baby nephew. Then they were transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in a cattle car. Her father, sister, and baby nephew were sent straight to the gas chambers.
The Jakobs’ family were German Jews who had fled to Holland in 1938. Bert was 8 years old when he and his family went into hiding in the barn of the Driessen family in the Netherlands. They hid for 25 months undetected.
It was sheer luck that caused a young Ricki to be out of town on a trip with her father when the Nazis invaded her Belgium town. Ricki survived the Holocaust by living with a Christian family, posing as their daughter.
Born in Greece. Italy invaded Greece during WWII. As the Italians retreated, Jews were urged to leave before the Germans came. Joe and all his family hid - in caves, in the mountains of Greece
Joe Brandt was 17 when he and his family were taken by cattle car to Auschwitz. He dodged Dr. Mengele’s selection but labor was hard and escape was impossible. Later he was part of the death march.
Anna “Angie” Suss Paull was 17 in 1939 when the war started in Poland.
Angie endured the Holocaust in the Lodz ghetto and in Auschwitz concentration camp.
Sam experienced 4 Nazi concentration camps during WW II when he was 15. Sam was born in Poland. He had 12 brothers, 5 sisters and a mother and father. All but 2 were killed either by being starved to death, murdered in a gas chamber, dying of disease like typhus, or being shot or severely beaten.
He has spoken all over the United States and in over 42 countries.
When George was 13 the Nazis put them under house arrest, then they were rounded up to go to a ghetto and soon transported on a cattle car for 3 weeks to Auschwitz concentration camp. His grandfather died on the train; his mother and little brother were gassed. He was forced to watch his father tortured. When liberated George was a skeleton weighing 33 pounds!
Her father worked in Berlin and by 1931 (long before WWII officially started), the family moved to Prague because things in Germany were going “to get bad”.
Mrs. Gartner said by 1932 when she was 12, she already had to sit on Jew benches in school and they sung the official Nazi Party anthem every day in class.
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