Thursday, October 18, 2007

Holocaust Survivor Visits OFTA

Almost eighty people crowded into the Buchanan Center for the Arts on Wed. Oct. 17th to hear the story of Aaron Elster, a Holocaust survivor who now lives in the Chicago area. The audience included folks who still remembered WW II and young people who were the same age as Elster was when he experienced the personal horror of losing his parents, his six year old sister, and most of his family to the Nazi campaign to exterminate the Jews of Poland.

Some still say that the Holocaust never happened. All I can say is that no human being would wish to make up the story that Elster tells. His personal testimony and his book, titled I CAN STILL SEE HER HAUNTING EYES are moving and incredibly painful.

Elster is a small, active, good natured guy who is now seventy-six years old. How could this mild mannered fellow have escaped the Gestapo and survived two years alone in a dirt floored attic at the age of eight? And how could he appear to be so normal (with a wife, children, and grandchildren) when his own parents and his six year old sister were murdered? How could any of it have happened? The answer is oh so easily.

Mr. Elster's caution was the same as those given by Ralph Rehbock and Al Goldfarb as they talked to the OFTA audience last year. When good people stand by and do nothing, the unthinkable can turn into the normal as easily as you slide a slipper on your foot. Elster's story and all the stories must be told and told and told again so no generation will ever have to face this kind of horror again.

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