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Holocaust Survivor Jan Menchel This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Twelve years ago, as a high school junior, I submitted an interview with my grandfather to Teen Ink magazine. My grandfather’s name is Jan Menchel, and my piece detailed his life story beginning in 1926. I recounted his experience living through, and ultimately surviving, the Holocaust.

When I initially submitted this work, it was a project for an AP English course. At age 16, my goal was to get an A in the class. I never could have imagined what an impact that interview would have on my family and our friends. Having my grandfather’s story included on Teen Ink’s website provided all of us with a place to celebrate the history of someone we loved. Furthermore, the article reached more than our inner circle. My grandfather received a message from an old friend who had read it. They hadn’t seen or spoken to each other since they were taken to the concentration camps and, miraculously, they were able to reconnect.

I am writing to you at Teen Ink all these years later because, sadly, Jan Menchel passed away last month. We used my Teen Ink interview to eulogize him. That day, my grandfather’s story, and our history, reached another 150 people. There may not be much that I took away from my high school courses, especially all these years later. However, your publication’s impact on my life is astounding. I hope you continue to find unique stories that touch teens – and adults – for years to come.

Read Lindsay's interview with her grandfather at

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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