By Stacy Abrams
As an American college student studying at Tel Aviv University, I recently had the opportunity to attend a lecture given by Holocaust survivor Rena Quint at Jeff Seidel’s Student Center.
Mrs. Quint’s story was particularly remarkable as she experienced the Holocaust as a child. She spoke about growing up in a small town in Poland, surrounded by a close-knit community of Jewish families. Her idyllic childhood was shattered when the Nazis invaded her town.
During October 1942, Rena’s mother and two elder brothers were deported to Treblinka extermination camp where they were tragically murdered. At the time, Rena was not yet seven years old and was taken with her father to a concentration camp. In an attempt to survive, Rena pretended to be a boy. However, after Rena’s father was also murdered, she was left alone in the camp. Eventually, Rena was transferred to Bergen Belsen concentration camp where she endured unimaginable horrors.
Despite the unimaginable trauma she faced, Mrs. Quint’s strength and determination were truly inspiring. She spoke about how she managed to survive by holding onto hope and finding small moments of joy in the midst of unimaginable suffering. She also spoke about the importance of forgiveness and moving forward, even in the face of profound loss and tragedy.
The lecture left me feeling humbled and grateful for the opportunity to hear Mrs. Quint’s story. It was a reminder that we must never forget the atrocities of the past, and must continue to educate ourselves and future generations about the dangers of hatred and intolerance.
As an American studying in Israel, I am constantly reminded of the importance of learning about the Holocaust. Israel was founded as a refuge for Jewish people who had survived the horrors of the Holocaust, and its existence serves as a testament to the strength and resilience of the Jewish people.
Mrs. Quint’s story serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of bearing witness to history. By listening to the stories of survivors, we honor their memory and ensure that their experiences are not forgotten.