Ron is a second generation speaker who tells his father's story. His father Herbert, now 85, escaped from Vienna at age 14 aboard the Kindertransport. This event, and the ensuing years before his emigration to America, were the defining moments of his life.
"It is important to remember an event such as the Holocaust. It is a reminder to us all of the evils of bigotry and humiliation of others. Unfortunately, there are many holocausts in the world—both big and small—which have occurred since, and continue to occur. And it is left to ensuing generations to resonate the lessons of history. "
Marie-Anne is a second generation speaker who tells the story of her grandmother and mother - both part of the French resistance during the Holocaust. They helped refugees escape from Eastern Europe to free France via Paris.
"All my adult life my goal has been to inspire children to expand their view of their world through books and reading. Why? Because the few who resisted the Nazis and hid Jews at the risk of their lives and the lives of their loved ones had that elusive quality--empathy. And empathy is partially acquired through understanding and respect."
George's story begins in 1941, when he was 3 years old and living in the Warsaw ghetto with his mother, who worked in a factory making German uniforms. After escaping the ghetto with his mother, George survived by living with a series of Polish Catholic families till the war's end. He and his mother left Poland for France, and then to the U.S. in 1949.
"I kept a safe emotional distance from the Holocaust until October 2009, when I saw a scene in the film "Paper Clips." In the scene, teachers and school children in a small Tennessee town were crying after hearing the stories of Holocaust survivors visiting their school. It made me realize how important it is for those who lived through the Holocaust to speak and convey its personal meaning to today's children."
George recently visited Spanaway Lake High School and wrote about the experience (with photos) on his blog. George's memoir, Neither Yesterdays Nor Tomorrows is available for purchase through the Holocaust Center's store.
Learn more about the Speakers Bureau here.