Living history; Holocaust survivor speaks to Northwest students

By Erika Pedroza | Published Saturday, October 13, 2012

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LIVING HISTORY – Cast and crew members of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” presented by the Northwest High School theatre department, got to meet Max Glauben (center), a Holocaust survivor and founder and lifetime director of the Dallas Holocaust Museum. Submitted photo

History came alive in two forms for students at two Northwest ISD middle schools this week.

One and-a-half million children, six million Jews and 5 million non-Jewish people fell victim to the horrors inflicted by Adolf Hitler and his henchmen during World War II.

Max Glauben was one of the few survivors.

After watching the first act of the Northwest High School theatre department’s interpretation of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” Chisholm Trail and Truett Wilson seventh and eighth graders heard the testimonial of an actual Holocaust survivor.

Born the son of Jewish middle-class parents in Warsaw, Poland in 1928, he was 11 when the Third Reich invaded Poland in 1939 and his entire family was corraled and forced to live in the Warsaw ghetto.

“These places didn’t have any utilities, electricity or items that were necessary to live,” he said.

Adults were forced to work, old people were disposed of, and the young people stayed home or hid from the Germans during the day.

During the short time the Poles resisted the Germans before surrendering, 85 percent of Warsaw was bombed, Glauben said.

Ultimately, most of his family members were executed, but Glauben and his father were selected for slave labor at a concentration camp.

After his father was killed, Glauben was sent to two concentration camps before the U.S. Army liberated him April 23, 1945.

Glauben moved to the U.S. in December 1947 under the care of a Jewish children’s organizaton and was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War in 1951. After his release in 1953, he moved from Fort Hood to Dallas, where he met his wife, a native Texan.

They have three children and seven grandchildren ranging in age 13 to 27, in whose accomplishments Glauben takes pride.

“You can multiply my testimony by a million-and-a-half children not lucky enough to survive and be able to tell you their stories … But you should remember that they should never ever be forgotten,” he said. “Just remember that this tragedy is depriving us of some of the things that they could have done for the good of the world.

“Many of the victims could have been Einsteins, folks that could’ve found cures for diseases. Many of them could have been musicians – Elvis Presleys, Beatles – movie writers, directors, actors. We are deprived of some of the accomplishments that they could have made to improve our lifestyle in the millions of lives lost.”

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