Krista McNallyApr 23, 2018, 11:18 pm

Holocaust survivor tells his story to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself

The 88-year-old brings students into a world of propaganda, death marches

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GARDEN CITY — At 88-years-old, Irving Roth says reliving the horrors of the holocaust through storytelling takes a toll on him. However, he says it is his responsibility to share his memories because history could repeat itself.

"It happened once, it can happen again. And I want to make sure it never happens again," said the Holocaust Resource Center director.

Roth spoke with students at Adelphi University to not only tell his story but to show them how a series of propaganda led to hatred of an entire religion and eventually the mass killing of over six million people during the Holocaust.

"it makes it seem more tangible. When you’re learning it in a history book, it is a lot harder to feel that connection,” Adelphi student Carson Bailey said.

Roth was born in Czechoslovakia. He was ten when it became against the law for him to play at the park, go to school, and play soccer. By 14, he was forced out of his home and put on a train to Auschwitz. He survived a death march, Auschwitz, and Buchenwald where he was when two American soldiers came and freed him. His family was separated and most were killed in the gas chambers immediately.

The students and teachers say they feel a responsibility to continue the conversation about the Holocaust to ensure stories like Roth’s live on.

"We can only fully take on that responsibility when we meet people like this who teach us more about the past," Bailey said.

Roth would eventually move to the United States, write a book titled "Bondi's Brother," and speak to students about how messages of hate can lead to the unfair killing of millions.

"We all are human beings, we all have the right to exist. Evil does exist but we have to fight it," he said.

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