Society must never forget

Published 10:12 am Friday, February 27, 2009

Read all the history books in the world and it still may be impossible for those of us who were not there to fully understand the atrocities committed during World War II.

Irene Zisblatt has made it her personal mission to help the world see it through her eyes, though it certainly is a painful vision.

Zisblatt, a 78-year-old Hungarian Jew, spoke to Fairland students recently, baring her soul and sharing the pain that could only come from watching your family be murdered in such a cruel and barbaric way that it would shake anyone’s faith.

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But Zisblatt has persevered and feels that it is her duty to share the horrors she witnessed in the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz.

The survivor cautions that this could happen again. And she has a point.

It is often been said that we must always remember the past or we are doomed to repeat it. Zisblatt is doing her part to show that genocide must never happen again — but she feels she must pass the torch.

“It is going to be up to you,” Zisblatt said. “If we promote tolerance, it will change lives. It has to start with you. You are the last generation to know the survivors. Your children will not know a survivor. Those lives of hell can become lives of hope.

“Accept my legacy … work for understanding and tolerance. … No matter how small you think you are, you can make a difference.”

Zisblatt had the inner strength to overcome unspeakable adversity. We must now find our own strength to do our part.