Me, Him, and the Holocaust

November 25, 2008
By Eve Sampson, Gainesville, FL

I got an opportunity that I am so thankful I got to experience. Going into the Angel of Alhem Documentary reception, I was skeptical because first of all, I did not know anyone there other than my neighbor, who invited me, or my dad, so I it was a little uncomfortable. However, when we all filed into the theater, and sat down, I had no idea that what I was about to see would have such an impact on me. The documentary was about an elderly man of ailing health who had rescued prisoners of Alhem concentration camp during the Holocaust back in his youth, and had taken pictures, and was now, desperately seeking to identify the men in the pictures. He met with survivors from all over, and flew around the world with his friend, despite his health. It was almost heartbreaking to see him genuinely desire nothing more than to live long enough to find the people in his prized photographs. He seemed absolutely pure of heart, and though I never got the opportunity to meet him, I was devastated and saddened his death, which happened 9 days after the film crew visited him. Throughout the movie, you could see the poor man simply physically deteriorate, and it was just so sad to see a man who wanted people to remember, almost be forgotten. But I will never forget him, because his mission honestly touched me and I will always be sure to remember the awful truth about the Holocaust and I will always pray for and remember the people who died during that time. At the end of the movie, I actually got to speak to and shake hands with one of the survivors. It was probably the most amazing experience I have ever had. These survivors have been through so much yet they have a smile on their faces. They should be our heroes, our role models, our national celebrities. We need to hear their stories, for they, like all of us, are leaving this earth, and without them, we cannot know the whole truth. This was an experience that I have gained so much from, and it has really helped me to see the big picture. There is too much for me to say to put into words.

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