Holocaust Author: Family's Story Shows Humanity's Strength

Friday, 25 Apr 2014 07:30 PM

By Joe Battaglia

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The author of a new book on the Holocaust believes much can be learned about what human beings are capable of in terms of intolerance and perseverance as told through the story of her family.

Dr. Jill Gabrielle Klein, author of "We Got the Water: Tracing My Family's Path Through Auschwitz," and her father, Holocaust survivor Gene Klein, joined J.D. Hayworth and John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV and spoke about their collective experiences.

Gene Klein recounted a story about how dramatically his life changed after being shipped from Auschwitz to Wolfsburg as a 16-year-old boy.

Story continues below video.




"I was into my sixth month of imprisonment, and one morning an SS sergeant stopped right in front of me as we were standing in attention to be counted and asked, 'Which one of you young prisoners speak German?'" Gene Klein recalled. "I put my hand up because we had to take foreign language in our schools. I had no idea what I got myself into, but he marched me up to the gate of the camp, and there was a man in civilian clothing, and the man discharged the sergeant and told me, 'I am Mr. So and So.' I didn't understand why he had to introduce himself. You know he's a German, and I'm his prisoner.

"He said, 'I'm a civilian engineer, and I'm going to be here for the next two weeks to survey the future roads that the camp will be building, and I need help with my equipment.' He gave me this wooden board with numbers in it, and he has a tripod with his equipment, and he goes way, way down the road. And once he takes some notes about what he has seen, he calls me to him and we, you know, after doing six months of slave labor, this was like being on vacation."

When asked about the report that Ukrainian Jews were being asked to register and give an accounting of their personal property to Russian authorities, Jill Klein said it was hard to know whether this could be a step toward a return to the 20th century atrocities experienced by her father and others across Europe.

"Well, certainly if that sort of thing is actually happening it's of tremendous concern," she said. "But it is difficult to comment because there's some real question about how that actually occurred, and whether it was some sort of hoax to make the other side look bad. There's a lot of shenanigans going on in the Ukraine with sort of anti-Semitism being used as a card that the two sides are trying to play against each other, so it's a little bit unclear what's actually happening.

"What we do know, however, is in a country like Hungary -- my father, his hometown became part of Hungary in 1938 -- there's growing anti-Semitism there, a blatantly anti-Semitic party has become the third-leading party in Hungary. They have seats in Parliament, they suggest things like registering everyone and registering Jews and things like that."

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