Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Henry

Later today I am meeting up with one of my favorite friends. He happens to be 90 years old. Henry is hilarious. He says exactly what he means...my favorite comments usually have to do with him commenting on the Kardashian's love lives and how expensive his prescription medications are. I also love how he says that he's a real American because he uses his credit card all the time.


Henry is a great old man, but there is something extra special about him. He was the only  member of his entire family (parents, two siblings and multiple extended family members) to survive Auchswitz in the Holocaust. He was from a tiny town in Poland, which no longer exists, that was invaded by the Nazis when Henry was about 15. He survived by being  a young, healthy male and therefore valuable because he could work at the camp. When he was liberated, he ended up in Minneapolis and then traveled to Ohio. He worked most of his adult life at the Kahn's meat packing plant and made a life for himself here in Cincinnati.


The thing about Henry is that though he has seen the absolute worst in humanity: the slaughter of his family, starvation and torture (and God knows what other horrors) he is not bitter. He loves people. He will talk to anyone who will talk to him back, especially the "young girls" as he likes to call them. He laughs, smiles and jokes around. He still believes in God, even though out of anyone I have ever met, he has a reason to believe God abandoned him when he was in Auschwitz. He's strong in his Jewish faith and culture, even though it was one of the reasons he was forced to suffer for so long.


Henry is a reminder to us all that no matter how hard the world seems, or how evil people can be to one another, faith in God, yourself and happiness can prevail. I am honored to have Henry has a friend, and I hope that this post gives everyone a little inspiration today.


Have a well Wednesday!

8 comments:

  1. I love that you have a relationship with an older person. Too many people in our younger generation don't take the time to learn from the older generation. My grandparents have had a huge part in my upbringing and I've appreciated what they've taught me.

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  2. That's amazing you have such a great relationship with him. Unfortunately there are not many survivors left and to have firsthand experience of hearing their stories is a great gift! I was lucky enough to tour Auschwitz and Birkenau with a Holocaust survivor who had been there and it was the singular most life-changing experience of my life.

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    1. That must have been really difficult but an amazing experience. Thanks for your post!

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  3. What a wonderful story. Thank you for telling it. Too soon, none of Holocaus survivors will be around to tell the horrific ordeals they had to go through.

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    1. I know...I am glad that the children, other relatives and special friends like me can pass their stories along.

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  4. Wow, Henry seems incredibly inspiring! You're lucky to have him as a friend.

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Thanks so much for commenting! I read every one! Stay well and xoxo, Mer In America