miércoles, 31 de mayo de 2017

Holocaust survivor saved by Schindler's List speaks in Dracut (VIDEO)

Rena Farber, who was a child in Krakow, Poland,
when the Nazis took over, speaks at Harmony Hall in Dracut.
She was one of the Jews saved from the Holocaust by Oskar Schindler.

DRACUT--Rena Farber's voice is frail now as she nears the age of 90. Her message, however, is so gripping that she captivated an audience of middle schoolers and their parents as she recalled how she survived Nazi death camps. 
"Time is running out for the survivors and the liberators," she said. "We are the eyewitnesses. We witnessed things you couldn't really imagine." 
The inevitability that her generation will soon be gone motivates Farber to pass her memories on. "The Holocaust cannot be forgotten. It is time to pass the torch of memory to younger people -- to grandchildren and great grandchildren so that they become eyewitnesses." 
The normal shuffling of preteens quickly subsided and the room became quiet as she told her story. She pulled adults and children alike into the hell of the Holocaust. 
Rena Farber was 10 when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939. As her family was forced into a ghetto, her father tried to reassure her not to worry. "The world will hear about us. They will come and save us." But the world did not intervene to save the Jews of Europe. 
The Nazis took her father away and she never saw him again. As she and her mother were leaving their apartment in Krakow, she tried knocking on neighbors' doors. "But no one had the courage to say goodbye." 
Of those neighbors, she said, "They were ordinary people, like the people you come across every day.
How could you imagine they would believe that screeching hate? How could you believe they would listen and follow (Hitler)? 
Farber survived the death camps "because I was on Schindler's List." Her mother also was on Oskar Schindler's list. Retelling her story of survival is Farber's way of thanking the man who saved them and 1200 other Jews from certain death in Nazi gas chambers. 
The story of Schindler's List was famously documented in Steven Spielberg's 1993 film by the same title. Schindler, who joined German Intelligence in the 1930s, used his connections and bribery to protect the Jewish workers in his enamelware and munitions factory. He spent his entire fortune on this effort, but at the end of his life said, "I should have done more." 
Farber's journey to Schindler's factory involved a transfer to Auschwitz from another camp. "We were leaving hell and going to Oskar Schindler," she said. She did not know, however, that Auschwitz would be the first stop. 
Auschwitz "was unthinkable then. It is unthinkable now. It was built for the pure purpose of murdering people." 
One experience at Auschwitz left her "so traumatized and dehumanized that I thought we were dead. I really didn't think we were alive." 
Farber targets her message to young people, such as those in Rebecca Duda's class at the Richardson Middle School. Her presentation this week marked the fifth year she has told her story to a Dracut audience. 
"Unfortunately, my message is very timely. People have to be upstanders not bystanders. We need to fight against hate," she said. 
Children have a lot of power in shaping that fight, and she wants them to know that. "They are very powerful. They have the power to change the world by speaking up." They can begin by standing up to bullies. "Bullies are cowards. If you see bullying, go and get help. Tell a teacher or a parent." 
"The world is in a lot of trouble now. It is very difficult to watch what is happening." The world's problems make it critical for young people to understand the power they have to change things. 
Standing up to bullies takes courage, Finder said, which is just what the world needs. "Schindler is a shining example that one person can make a difference," she said.

Video: Holocaust Survivor, Rena Finder, speaks in Dracut

Source:  http://www.lowellsun.com/news/ci_31021725/bearing-witness-horror-and-heroism#ixzz4ihCbC69H

Learn more about Nazism and Holocaust by reading: 

"The Nazis and Evil: the Annihilation of the Human Being"