Honor to the Survivors: Learning from them

History. His Story.
Let me share some of His Story about living in Nazi concentration camps.

My eleven year old granddaughters and I recently attended a special event at the Strategic Air and Space Museum where a Holocaust survivor was to speak. The Museum had hosted a photography exhibit entitled "Portraits of Survival", with photos of survivors and brief comments about their life during that time and now. It was life-changing for all three of us.

The exhibit hosted over 57,000 visitors from around the world in the last 90 days. In reading comments left by those who experienced the show, I believe that they, too, had their lives altered in some way.

Survivors Of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Immortalised In New Movie

Survivors Of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Immortalised In New Movie
Following are some of the things I read and learned that touched mine.

  • "People should learn to be kind and find ways to support one another in this world." - A Survivor. What a truth we should all follow! If only we could love other people as our brothers and sisters. And know that "What affects one, affects all."
  • Fred's mother sent him outside the train station as she knew they were going to be sent to the camps. Fred was four. Can you imagine the feelings of the mother as she did this? Sending her child to the unknown because she knew the known?
  • "I can't hate anymore because I saw what hate did." - Joachim, an Auschwitz survivor. How can you hate people you don't even know anyway? I cannot understand this.
  • "We worked hard not to be a burden in this country, we left Europe with nothing." - Katherine, an Auschwitz survivor. This lady and her husband are successful business people in Omaha.
  • Bea shared that the first English words she learned where "gum" and "chocolate". "All we knew was that American always had it."
  • "I don't complain. I don't waste anything - somebody else does not have what we have." - Fred, World War II and Jewish survivor. If we could all be so grateful for whatever it is that we have.
And in another manner, I found out about... Irena Sendler
There recently was a death of a 98 year-old lady named Irena. During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an ulterior motive because being German she KNEW what the Nazi's plans were for the Jews. Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried and she carried in the back of her truck a burlap sack for larger kids. She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids' and infants' noises...

She managed to smuggle out and save 2500 children. She was caught and the Nazi's broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely. Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and reunited the family. Most had been gassed. The children she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.

What stories. The incredible stories of what happened, how people endured, coped and kept positive attitudes. What incredible insight that we can all learn from. From His Story.