Seniors participating in MTA’s Names, Not Numbers elective had the special privilege of meeting with Holocaust survivors and capturing their stories on film. The incredible and often heart-wrenching narratives included:
Survivor Rene Slotkin, who described what it was like to be sent to Auschwitz at the young age of five, where he and his twin sister Irene were subjected to the Mengele experiments. After being forced on the Death March, he was liberated, and finally reunited with his twin sister years later.
Survivor Oscar Mohl, grandfather of Senior Noam Abrahams, shared his journey of survival through Germany, Poland, and Siberia.
Survivor Esia Friedman, who was saved by Righteous Gentiles, described what it was like to live in constant fear while in hiding.
Survivor Gaston Silvera, of the rare Tunisian survivors, talked about his Holocaust experience in Tunisia.
Survivor Muncie Seidenfeld, great-great aunt of Senior DJ Wartelsky, shared her journey from Czechoslovakia to the Munkacs ghetto and surviving Auschwitz along with her sister. She explained how she was reunited with her surviving siblings after the war and went on to become the matriarch of a large family that includes 140 children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, all of whom are shomrei Torah u’mitzvos, thanks to her survival.
Survivor Rebbetzin Chaya Small, mother-in-law of MTA rebbe Rabbi Gopin, shared what it was like for her family to escape the war and travel from Vilna to Moscow, and finally to Shanghai, after being saved by Japanese Imperial Consul Chiune Sugihara, the first Japanese diplomat posted in Lithuania.
Thanks to these brave survivors for sharing their stories of faith, hope, and survival. Seniors look forward to ensuring that these stories are never forgotten, as they create their documentary film, which will debut in May.