Wednesday, June 10, 2009

88 year old Holocaust Survivor Comments on Holocaust Museum shooting

“Regrettably, this is an example of what hate can do. This is why I was preaching at high schools and universities (for the past 40 years.) The worst four letter word is H_A_T_E – it’s the most destructive word of them all. All these horrible killings and disasters are based on hate – religious, political, racial HATE.”

1 comment:

  1. Author of the award winning book An Unbroken Chain: My Journey Through the Nazi Holocaust by Lerner Publishing House, in Minneapolis, MN, eight-seven year old Henry Oertelt was liberated by General Patton’s Third Army during the Flossenburg Death March in April, 1943. He arrived in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1949 and has spent 40 years speaking about his experiences and the importance of tolerance, political involvement, and confronting hatred. Henry has been married to his sweetheart, Inge, for 62 years and has two children, 4 grandchildren, and one great grandson.

    Oertelt is past chairman of the Jewish Community Relations Council’s (JCRC) and Holocaust education committee and recipient of JCRC’s “Volunteer of the Year” award, as well as receiving the distinguished “Eleven Who Care Honor” from KARE 11 in Minnesota in May, 2006. St. Paul, Minnesota honored him with the key to the city and proclaimed “Henry A. Oertelt Day” on April 23, 2006. Oertelt was also of 52,000 video survivor testimonies filmed for the Spielberg/Shoah project, “Survivors of the Shoah” and from that he became one of five showcased survivors in “Surviving Auschwitz: Five Personal Journeys” for the Shoah Foundation.

    Oertelt is one of the five hundred real life identities given out at the U.S. Holocaust Museum. He was featured in Dr. Rhoda Lewin's book "Witnesses to the Holocaust, an Oral History" and quoted in Nick Strimple’s “Music in the Twentieth Century.” He was interviewed for NBC News and the "McNeil-Lehrer Report", as well as various Twin City and other TV and radio stations and has been the subject of countless write-ups in a variety of newspapers and magazines. Oertelt is also one of the more than thirty survivors featured in Robert Sutz’ “Living History exhibit” of life masks. Oertelt is additionally a recipient of two honorary doctorate degrees from St. Cloud State University and South West State University, in Minnesota. There are currently plans to develop his life story into a feature film in the future.