By Sethany Hagel
AUM’s gym was crowded with people. The people there did not gather for a big game, but to listen to eye witness accounts of one of the most horrific times in the history of the world.
On Wednesday, April 9, Max Herzel and Max Steinmetz, came to AUM to tell their survival story of the Holocaust. With the candles lit and burning, every eye was on them. The survivors begin to tell of the horrific existence they led while in captivity. Living in conditions worse than slavery, but they came out alive. They tell their stories not for pity, but as a warning.
They told one horrific story after another. One father gave up something to keep his son warm in winter, and both father and son were hung. One Rabbi tried to keep his high holy day and was killed for keeping the traditions of his ancestors. In a heart wrenching tale Max Herzel told of his first encounter with an American soldier who gave up his coat to keep a frozen Jewish boy from dying.
Telling stories from all over the spectrum, from horrors and fears, to rebuilding faith in mankind, Herzel and Steinmetz relived their terrors. This is so that another generation could be warned and would make a stand if their time came. They lived through torture for all those years and when they sleep that torture returns. However , when they retell their story it’s worth it, if only this generation will keep a second Holocaust from happening when the next Hitler rises up.
History has a way of repeating itself. In the last century alone there has been one genocide after another, from the Armenian genocide to the Rwanda genocide. These brave survivors are warning us, so history won’t repeat itself on our generation.