- Andrew HollingerDirector, Communications202.437.1221
We are Holocaust survivors who volunteer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, sharing our experiences with the public. We are always gratified to see how much interest there is from young people from every part of the world. To hear their comments and questions gives us hope for the future.
Today, as we see the murderous destruction in Israel, that hope is dimmed. All our lives we mourned for our loved ones lost to the genocidal actions of the Nazis and their collaborators, but we hoped the lessons of the past could shape a different future. Today we mourn for Israel that holds such special meaning for us.
In our youth, we were proud Jews in our communities throughout Europe. Eventually, that meant escape or certain death. We wanted to flee, but no one would take us. We longed for freedom and security, but there was no Jewish State. Today, the State of Israel is the guarantor of a Jewish future, but it is under horrific assault by Hamas terrorists. Today, men, women and children are again targeted as Jews. Today, we witness the worst killing of Jews since the Holocaust.
This is not what we expected in this final chapter of our lives, as we contemplate our legacy, the future of Holocaust memory and education, and the future of our people. We write this letter to humanity in sorrow but also in hope. We know pain few can comprehend, having seen our families and communities obliterated. We are living proof that the unthinkable is always possible.
We are also living proof of resilience. That we can rebuild as our fierce determination demonstrates. We must be realistic about the dangers, but we must never despair. That would be a victory for those seeking to destroy us. That is why memory and education become more important with each passing year. And why we are proud of our contributions to fortify new generations to face the challenges that lie ahead. We promised our loved ones we would never forget and never give up. Especially at this darkest of moments, that remains our promise and our challenge to humanity.
Steven F, deported to Auschwitz from Hungary
Joël N, protected by neighbors in France
Louise L, hidden in the Netherlands
Rose-Helene S, lived on false papers in France
Susan W, escaped from Nazi Germany
Arye E, hidden in Slovakia
Esther S, escaped on a Kindertransport to England
Ninetta F, sheltered in Greece
Nat S, expelled from home in Romania
Henry W, escaped from Vienna
Estelle L, forced into the Warsaw ghetto
George S, protected by the Swiss in Budapest
Tamar H, hidden in Rome
Ruth C, deported to Auschwitz from Hungary
Halina P, lived on false papers in Jarosław
Andrew J, hidden in Warsaw
Frank C, escaped from Nazi Germany
Albert G, hidden in France
Dora K, protected in Croatia
Rae G, lived with partisans in forest near Głębokie
Peter G, forced into the Budapest ghetto
Sheldon G, hidden in Zamość
Alfred M, hidden in the Netherlands
Mark K, escaped the German invasion of Soviet Ukraine
Marcel D, hidden in Drohobycz
Ania D, born in a Soviet forced labor camp
Peter S, persecuted in Prague
Gideon F, hidden in Slovakia
Ruth E, forced into a ghetto in Skałat
Manny M, imprisoned in Bergen-Belsen
Irene W, deported to Auschwitz from Hungary
Lisa K, escaped from Italy
George P, forced into the Budapest ghetto