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Arek Hersh - Holocaust Survivor





wellerchap
I went to a theatre venue in Leeds on Wednesday to see this guy present a 90 minute docu-film relating his times in the 2nd World War, living in Poland & being held in 4 or 5 different camps by the Germans....cheating death on a number of occasions, but losing 82 out of 84 of his family, mostly to the gas chambers.
Afterwards he held a q&a session where we fired questions at him; all the time he came over as a very humble, likeable man.
I'd gone there with a friend of mine (an older guy, in his 70's) who also survived the camps, but in his case, held by the Japanese in Burma.
They were certainly the only 2 people in the room who's experienced real hunger & depravation, making me feel a bit ashamed of any of my small grumbles in life.
It's true what they say....we don't know we're born, these days.
jabce85
thanks for this, very interesting.. and yes, some people have no idea about how bad it could be..
deanhills
He must have been very old? Think most war veterans who participated actively in the war (meaning they were in their twenties plus) have passed on. How old was he?

Wish I could have seen the documentary movie. They are usually very good. Much more authentic than modern day movies about World War II. I remember a documentary I saw many years ago about a photographer, who was taking movies about the war. I think he was originally from Los Angeles and had been in the movie industry. He was appointed as a professional photographer for the US army, not sure but think it was for Eisenhower. That was a really good documentary and brought the true flavour and atmosphere of that time alive. They have some awesome footages in archives.
wellerchap
deanhills wrote:
He must have been very old? Think most war veterans who participated actively in the war (meaning they were in their twenties plus) have passed on. How old was he?

Wish I could have seen the documentary movie. They are usually very good. Much more authentic than modern day movies about World War II. I remember a documentary I saw many years ago about a photographer, who was taking movies about the war. I think he was originally from Los Angeles and had been in the movie industry. He was appointed as a professional photographer for the US army, not sure but think it was for Eisenhower. That was a really good documentary and brought the true flavour and atmosphere of that time alive. They have some awesome footages in archives.

He was 11 by the time the Lodz ghetto in Poland was liquidated & he began his time in the camps. He cheated the selection processes (filtering out older people, women not fit to work, the sick, and children) by telling the Germans he was older than he was, and also by picking his moment once or twice to change queues & therefore be retained for work.
The irony was that many who were "lucky" enough to be selected couldn't face the existence & often threw themselves against the electric fences to end it all.
Here's a link to info on Arek Hersh.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arek_Hersh
deanhills
wellerchap wrote:
He was 11 by the time the Lodz ghetto in Poland was liquidated & he began his time in the camps. He cheated the selection processes (filtering out older people, women not fit to work, the sick, and children) by telling the Germans he was older than he was, and also by picking his moment once or twice to change queues & therefore be retained for work.
The irony was that many who were "lucky" enough to be selected couldn't face the existence & often threw themselves against the electric fences to end it all.
Here's a link to info on Arek Hersh.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arek_Hersh
Thanks for the info and link. Wow, so much dying, and he not only survives it, but is able to still function as a human being after all of that horror. Quite something to behold.
blacktshirtnews
thanks for the post and the link!
imera
Quite interesting, and a really sad story, 82 family members, that is a lot.

And yes, today children and adults don't know how good the have it. Many times when I feel like complaining I don't, because whenever I hear someone else complain about something small I think how they should shut up and think about their life, how good it actually is.

I was raised in a poor country, and I remember a lot of that life. It wasn't the worst kind of life but compared to many others it wasn't the best. And compared to Arek's life I was lucky.
lagoon
I saw a holocaust survivor give a speech, but it was only when I went to Auschwitz with my school that I realised how horrifying it all was.
deanhills
People are still doing horrible things to one another. All one needs to do is to go to places such as the Congo and Northern Rwanda, Dafur in Sudan, Eritrea in Ethiopia, atrocities are still alive. Sad that people should see the holocaust as something isolated yet the world still has not got to the point where it can stop these atrocities from happening. Like Croatia when genocides were committed there, like the very recent Palestinians who got caught in cross fire between Hamas and Israel, like Dafur in Sudan, like the Matabele tribe in Zimbabwe which was completely killed off by Mugabe when he first took power, etc. etc. Holocaust is still alive and horrible and ongoing.
BinahZ
The term holocaust literally means a sacrificial burnt offering. Sadly there is a reason that term is applied to what happened to the Jews in WW11. In todays terminology it has taken on the connotation of any atrocity related to any human slaughter of great magnitude.
But I also agree that there continue to be many horrible acts that continue today. We need to stand against such things. Unspoken words are never heard and silence is akin to acquiescence.
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