Gene Klein is a resident of Florida, and a survivor of the notorious Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp in which over a million Jews were murdered. He is a frequent speaker and author (with his daughter) of the book “We Got the Water: Tracing my Family’s Path through Auschwitz.”
The San Diego Jewish World website republished an article by Mr Klein, calling on Americans to put aside “presidential candidates fanning the flames of fear” who are “falling over themselves to outdo their rivals’ xenophobia”, and instead “make a human connection to today’s refugees”.
To Mr Klein, the fact that Germany, the country that in the past was responsible for his suffering and the murder of 100 of 107 extended family members, is today welcoming refugees from Syria, is proof of the possibility that “the world can change for the better”
imagine, if you found yourself in their situation, what it would mean to be welcomed to a new country where you could live once more in peace and safety. Like me, you would be devoted to your new home. You would be honored to serve in this country’s military, be eager to work hard to make a contribution to your community, and be forever grateful for the opportunity to raise your children to uphold the values of freedom and tolerance.
Mr Klein relates his own history as a prisoner of the Auschwitz concentration camp, and subsequently as a refugee fleeing Soviet territorial expansion into his homeland of Hungary. After two years displaced to Austria, Mr Klein and his relatives were allowed to seek refuge in the USA.
Still recovering from the deprivations of the concentration camps, and the poverty of the displaced persons’ camp, I was stunned when I opened [a relatives’] refrigerator. To this day I keep a photograph of the well-stocked shelves.
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