On Friday May 1 Judah Samet, a Holocaust survivor came to speak to the sophomore class. Mr. Samet a survivor of Bergen-Belsen was liberated by a Jewish- American soldier in the spring of 1945. Mr. Samet and a majority of his family were finally free from Nazi arms and life in Bergen-Belsen.

During Mr. Samet’s speech, the sophomores were mesmerized by his stories of begging for food in front of the Nazi mess hall at Bergen-Belsen and how his mother, Rachel, bartered with farmers for food when his family spent time working for a strong Nazi in a lumber mill.

Mr. Samet spoke of his mother in such a high regard, saying how she translated the German the Gestapo spoke when his family was being transported to Bergen-Belsen. His mothers ability to speak and understand German fluently often saved her and her families lives. Mr. Samet told a story of how his mother was able to negotiate her way out of possible death, Mr. Samet said, “She never explained how she managed to gain her release, and we [his family] never asked.”

After liberation, Mr. Samet and his family immigrated to Israel in the summer of 1945. Mr. Samet was placed in an orphanage where the children all spoke different languages. Mr. Samet said, “At first, we couldn’t understand each other and just fought all the time.” But after some times in the home he was able to speak many languages and can still speak most of them today. Mr. Samet’s life in the orphanage was hard, but he was able to overcome much of his anger.

Even though Mr. Samet’s life was full of hardship he managed to come out of the Holocaust not mad at the world. His experiences helped him to grow and he learned many things throughout his childhood and into adulthood that have helped him become the man he is today.

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