Honoring the Past-Remember for the Future

Last week two of my history buff kiddos, Karl and Kelli, joined me at presentation done by Esther Bauer, a Holocaust Survivor.

When we first read in the newspaper that she was coming to Luther College in Decorah we knew we wanted to go.  I had seen a Holocaust Survivor presentation several years ago and felt I needed to go again.

All of you know I love history.  I love WWII.  Some of my favorite books to read and Holocaust stories.  I hate saying favorite as I would never read a book again if it meant the whole genocide would have never happened.  I have to say I am attracted to the stories though.  I think reading the stories and hearing the stories makes the little day to day stupid things I worry about seem incidental-which they are.  The stories always give me hope too.

When Tuesday rolled around I almost didn’t go.  I knew by then that the cold I’ve been fighting for the last few weeks took a turn and turned into sinus infection.  I was miserable.

I ended up going…thinking I can survive a sinus infection if this lady can survive Auschwitz.

I am glad I went.  The chances of being to hear a survivor story lessens every day and so many of the people are in their 90’s and passing away.

Esther Bauer is now 91 years old.  She was originally from Hamburg.

Her father was a principal in an all girls school.  Her mother was a doctor.  Esther was nine when Hitler came into power.

She married while in a concentration camp.  Her husband, mother and father all died in the camps.

Esther’s story was good to hear.  It’s a good reminder that we all must work to never let anything so awful to happen.  She was a good speaker who made the audience laugh.

I also have to say the college students were awesome….It will be something I will always remember.

4 thoughts on “Honoring the Past-Remember for the Future”

  1. Debbie Leschisin

    I think the stories of Holocaust survivors are very fascinating. Yes, the stories need to keep being told! I can only imagine the dignity and courage of survivors! I had a college history course on the Holocaust. Before the class started students were required to read this book: “All But My Life” by Gerda Weissmann Klein. I would highly suggest that you read this book! Also “Life In A Jar” and the Irena Sendler project is very interesting. Her story started with a history project by a couple students in Kansas.

  2. I’m so glad that you went, Jo. I have a big collection of Holocaust survivor books. I’m always struck by the courage and fortitude that they have. Yes, we need to keep hearing their stories. Hope you feel better soon.

  3. What a wonderful experience you had listening to this survivor tell about this terrible time in history. One of my granddaughters minored in history in college. Studying WWII was her favorite time to study. She was fortunate enough to spend a few weeks in Germany one summer and toured several of the prison camps. One of my sister-n-laws is German and was about 8 years old at the end of the war. Her mother drove a beer truck during the war. She has told us that her mother would get any available vegetables from farmers and as she passed a camp, she would throw the vegetables over the fence of the camp. We definitely need to ensure that future generations understand what actually happened in Germany to prevent it from ever happening again.

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