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Family Honors Holocaust Survivor Lineage Amidst Rise in Public Antisemitism


Rosie Polkenfeld and Irving Guttman are pictured with their son.

“We won’t tolerate the present vitriol spewed by public figures within the media, now or ever,” stated Jerry Guttman, son of holocaust survivors Irving Guttman and Rosie Polkenfeld.

More and extra individuals are feeling emboldened to publicly categorical antisemitic tropes. The Anti-Defamation League acquired 2,717 stories of antisemitic assault, harassment, and vandalism in 2021, 34% greater than the earlier yr and essentially the most because the group started documenting such crimes greater than 40 years in the past. That is why Jerry Guttman and his prolonged household have created a motion via the web site, Our Holocaust Story, to counteract prejudice by educating others about their very own household’s Holocaust survival expertise and providing a platform for others to do the identical.

“We won’t tolerate the present vitriol spewed by public figures within the media, now or ever,” stated Jerry Guttman, son of Holocaust survivors Irving Guttman and Rosie Polkenfeld. “The intention of this challenge is to humanize a historic occasion that went out of its method to disparage those that had been affected by it. Through the angle of people who had been there, historical past could also be extra simply understood. It’s necessary to get to know my mother and father Rosie and Irving because of this.”

Our Holocaust Story recounts the person experiences of Irving and Rosie on a chronology that spans pre-, during-, and post-World War II. Before the conclusion of WWII, Irving and Rosie had been strangers. As Jews dwelling in war-torn Poland and Romania, they’d by no means have met in the event that they hadn’t accomplished all the things they may to dwell on their very own, of their respective wars.

Irving and Rosie amassed a treasure of paperwork and pictures illustrating the atrocities they endured and the recent begin they had been granted within the United States, from focus camps via their last departure. Our Holocaust Story consists of this complete repository of key information that had been important to chronicling their tales. As Jerry factors out, the choir grows louder as extra folks be a part of it. Every narrative has worth and that’s why the challenge supplies a discussion board and a safe setting for folks to share their private tales in addition to their testimonies of survival.

“We imagine that it’s crucial at the moment to teach the general public and to supply a protected setting for storytelling, empathy, and engagement,” stated Guttman. “This one man and girl are solely two verses in a for much longer track, however their experiences and survival shed important gentle on the brutality of struggle, the unspeakable miseries of genocide, and the optimism that comes from understanding and making a life on the opposite facet of all of it. We hope that by sharing their experiences, others shall be impressed to share their very own in order that we are able to all be heard.”

For extra info, please go to https://ourholocauststory.com/.

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