Imagine living through torture, starvation, and witnessing your loved ones being killed. Would you have the will to forgive?
A Holocaust survivor told his story and spread a message against hate Wednesday at the Center for American Values in Pueblo.
Jack Adler survived two ghettos and three concentration camps, lost his entire family at the hands of Nazis, and eventually came to America as an orphan.
He’s now an author and speaker, traveling the country and internationally, telling people how to live without hate.
Adler said, “We don’t have to love everyone. We don’t have to like everyone, but we should respect everyone. Respect the way you like to be respected.”
Born in Poland in 1929, Jack Adler was just 10-years-old when the Nazis invaded his homeland, forcing him and his family to live in ghettos, then later concentration camps.
“Of my immediate family of six, my parents, two sisters, brother and I, I am the sole survivor in my immediate family and one of five of my extended family,” said Adler.
Adler says he was in Dachau, Germany as the war was coming to an end, although he didn’t know what was about to happen next.
Adler said, “On April 27th the Nazis marched out about 7,100 prisoners. The march has been documented as the ‘Death March’ out of Dachau. The intent was to kill us during the march.”
Jack says when he and the other prisoners were freed by American soldiers in the early morning of May 1, 1945, there were less than 4,000 of them still alive.
“I was immediately hospitalized. I wouldn’t have made it even one more day,” said Adler.
Sixteen-years-old at the time and weighing only 65 pounds, Jack spent three months in the hospital. But with a will to live and eventually forgive, even after enduring the unthinkable, he’s spent the rest of his life telling others that life is too short to hate.
Adler said, “Don’t tolerate any kind of racism or bigotry. Treat others the way you like to be treated. It’s as simple as that.”
Adler has been speaking publicly now for 27 years and authored a book called ‘Y: A Holocaust Narrative’. It is available right now on Amazon.