From Miriam Aroni Krinsky… A Stark Reminder. “This all feels too familiar.” Those are words I’m increasingly hearing from my 92-year-old father, a Holocaust survivor, as stories abound of refugees fearing for their lives, immigrants caged under bridges and vigilante gangs hunting refugees along the border.
In the summer of 1941, German occupation devastated my father’s community, and Jews were segregated into a walled ghetto. My father saw the rising tide of hatred, the erosion of democratic ideals and marginalization of individuals who didn’t “fit” amid an upsurge of German nationalists. His pleas as a 14-year-old to flee fell on deaf ears, and it wasn’t long before soldiers came to arrest his family. He escaped with his 6-year-old brother in tow. Miraculously, in a community where fewer than 100 Jews survived, my father’s entire immediate family made it through the camps, death marches and “work details” where young boys were taken out to dig their own graves.
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