Holocaust Survivor Speaks at MCC
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
To most of us 24 hours isn't a very long time.
"I jump off the train and as I look around, there are guards all over the place," said Roth.
"In the distance, flames coming out of chimney's."
For 14-year-old Irving Roth, 24 hours was all it took to lose his family and freedom in an Auschwitz concentration camp.
Irving Roth, now 83, lives in Long Island. A Holocaust survivor, he travels around the globe educating people on the power of prejudice.
"Specifically I want individual human beings, students to understand what took place," said Roth.
While the Holocaust is known as one of the darkest times in history, Roth says the hate that spurred it on started small.
"People calling each other names. It begins with calling names and then it goes on from there," said Roth.
And although it may look different, Roth says it still exists today.
"Once you create a situation of them and us, it's easy sliding," Roth said.
In a presentation hosted by Rochesterians for Israel at MCC, Roth showed a video from his visit to Auschwitz two years ago. He remembers that the crimes against his people were not only at the hands of soldiers.
"They were farmers and doctors, teachers and lawyers and that's the frightening part," recalls Roth.
And though prejudice imprisoned him, Roth says those willing to step in, were his liberation. At 15-years- old, weighing 75 pounds, Roth was rescued by two American soldiers. And while he says forgiveness isn't enough.
"I don't like the word forgiveness. We both have to do something. We have to change, I have to see you differently, you have to see me differently," said Roth.
He says we can make peace with the past through action.