Sunday, April 18, 2010

I had the honor and privilege of listening to this wonderful woman, Helen Handler, speak this week. My dear friend, Angie, invited me to attend this event entitled, Our Story, The Life of Survivors at Xavier High School. I don't think there was a dry eye there. Mrs. Handler was a Holocaust survivor. She was actually imprisoned at Auschwitz. It was inconvenient to attend. It was a 45-minute drive and I had to deal with the usual carpooling, dinner, homework, kids, etc, and not to mention it was a school/work night. However, never before in my lifetime, have I had the opportunity to actually listen to a Holocaust survivor in person and I suspected that I never would again. I am so glad that I went. She was amazing. She is 82 years old and full of spunk and wisdom. There were four speakers but she was, without a doubt, my favorite. She told us of the atrocities that happened to her, but she also said that her message wasn't about getting her audience to feel sorry for her for being tortured and starved, but to encourage us to know that there is always hope. There were so many young people in the audience. However, this high school is private and full of privileged kids. I know that Mrs. Handler also speaks at underprivileged schools and I loved that she also shared that she came to America with her husband with $5 and couldn't speak the language. Her husband died when her son was in high school. She opened a business and put him through college and law school, so she wanted everyone to know that there is no excuse for not furthering your education.

We also heard from a second survivor and two young men that were part of The Lost Boys of Sudan. Phoenix has a chapter hear. I have heard them speak before and their stories are also amazing. I hope to put the Holocaust Museum on our list when we travel to DC this summer. I've heard that it is not to be missed.

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