Remembering the Holocaust: A Lesson in Humanity
By Lynn Kirby, SMC Public Affairs
/ Published April 13, 2010
LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Holocaust survivor Regina Hirsch shared her story of terror, sacrifice and triumph at the Space and Missile Systems Center Holocaust Memorial Observance, April 12. Hearing a first-hand account of the events of the Holocaust is becoming an invaluable experience as the number of living survivors diminishes.
Hirsch's survival is nothing short of a miracle, she said. Miracle after miracle helped her to escape situations where death was imminent. And yet, she eluded capture time after time.
Eighty-year-old Hirsch said, "If I live to be a hundred years, I cannot express the terror [of the Holocaust]." From watching the torture and murder of other Jews, including her own family, to the constant pain from beatings and hunger, through it all, Hirsch maintained her humanity.
After the liberation, Hirsch lived in Germany for several years where she said, "We became human beings again." Despite the way she was treated by Germans during the Holocaust, she did not have thoughts of retaliation once she was free. "There is no hate in me," she said.
And so, she teaches each of us a lesson in humanity: to love one another regardless of genetic differences and any past wrongdoings, and to never repeat the atrocity of the Holocaust. Hirsch said she shares her story so that we will never forget, so that we can prevent something like the Holocaust from ever happening again.
Col. Anita Latin, 61st Air Base Wing commander, encouraged all of the audience to take Hirsch's story with them and share her story with co-workers, friends, family and especially children who may never get a chance to hear the story first hand from a survivor.