Streamed live on Sep 29, 2014
On Monday, September 29th, Mr. Michael Herskovitz will share his story of survival with Haverford High School students. Mr. Herskovitz’s life was forever changed when German soldiers walked into his hometown in Czechoslovakia one sleepy March morning in 1944. Within a month, Mr. Herskovitz’s family along with other Jewish families living in Botfalva, Czechoslovakia, were kicked out of their homes and forced to live in a ghetto. Shortly after losing his home, 15 year old Michael and his entire family were forced onto cattle cars which transported them to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp. It is here that Michael lost his parents and his younger brother. In late 1944, as Russian troops advanced into Poland, Michael was transferred to two camps in Austria, Mauthhausen and Gunskirchen. It was in Gunskirchen that he heard shots ring out and saw British troops handing out food. He was freed.
With the support of the Philadelphia Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center, Mr. Herskovitz has been a frequent visitor to the halls of Haverford High School. Mr. Herskovitz has been meeting with Haverford students each year since 2008, helping students connect the lessons of history with the voices of those who bore witness to the atrocities of World War II. His harrowing personal tale, told with such grace and strength, never fails to move all those who hear it.