Holocaust survivor celebrates 101st birthday in Hallandale Beach

HALLANDALE BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida community is celebrating a survivor after a monumental milestone.

Julius Eisenstein is celebrating his 101st birthday, and while living more than a century is no easy task, for Eisenstein, it was nearly impossible, but he did it.

In May of 1943, Eisenstein was sent to his first concentration camp, one of five he was held in until he was liberated by the U.S. on April 29, 1945.

Since then, this survivor has made it his mission to ensure no one ever forgets the horrors of the Holocaust.

“Don’t let that happen again. Please, I am warning you. People like me are not going to be here much longer, so it’s in your hands,” said Eisenstein.

The mayor of Hallandale Beach and members of the community gathered to help Eisenstein celebrate his birthday. The mayor even handed him a key to the city.

The event was put together by the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center.

“He doesn’t want any other people, individual, generation to ever experience what he has, so for us, he’s a 21st-century hero,” said Rositta Kenigsburg, president of the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center.

Before the festivities came to an end, Eisenstein delivered his famous line, one he says every time he shares his story.

“You don’t have to like me, but why do you have to hate me?” he said.

Despite being 101 years old, Eisenstein said when the pandemic is over, all he wants to do is go back to schools across Hallandale Beach and speak to children about the horrors of the Holocaust.

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