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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Holocaust survivors: Firsthand witnesses

(Public Domain)
The very best antidote to those who insist that the Holocaust never happened are the firsthand accounts of living survivors.

Todd C. Frankel of St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that their numbers are dwindling fast.  Because World War II ended almost 70 years ago, there are only approximately 500,000 Jewish survivors still alive.

Deborah Dwork, Director of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University, put it this way:  Living memory is now about to
come to an end.  And when memory ends, history kicks in.

To insure the accuracy of this history, vigorous efforts are being made "to document stories and interview survivors."  Although the Shoah Foundation at the University of Southern California has even created "three-dimensional holograms of survivors recounting their experiences," this still cannot match the impact of experiencing a
firsthand account from a live presenter.

Frankel details the recent visit of 84-year-old Holocaust survivor Philip Bialowitz to St. Louis, Missouri.  Bialowitz traveled there from Florida for the express purpose of sharing his story at Washington University. He described his journey there as having "a mission to perform," and his story as "bearing witness."    


Copyright March 12, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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