3 things I learned from a Holocaust survivor

Of all the people who should have the right to hate and disrespect others, it should be a Holocaust survivor.

Yet Shulamit Bastacky, a hidden child survivor of the Holocaust, says we need to respect others, despite race, religion, or anything else. Bastacky, who was stored away alone in a basement in the beginning years of her life, recently gave a presentation at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Here are three things I took away from her story.

Everyone is human. 

Bastacky told the story of a fellow female Jew. This woman was on a death march when a non-Jew man pulled her out of line and rescued her from an unjust death. The Jewish woman later asked the man’s wife, “Don’t you know I’m a Jew?”

The wife said, “I didn’t ask you whose womb you came from.”

God gave us brains.

In response to an audience member’s question, “If God exists, how can such terrible things happen?”

I liked Bastacky’s response: “God gave us brains.”

Meaning God didn’t do these evil things. Man did.

Respect others.

It’s simple. You can disagree, you can argue – even vigorously – but you must respect others. Bastacky encouraged the audience members to open up their hearts and show respect.

 

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