JERUSALEM (WSVN) — As Israel celebrates its 75th anniversary, a South Florida man, who’s a Holocaust survivor, is also marking the occasion.
David Schaecter is looking ahead by looking back at his painful past.
“Coming back to Auschwitz is really painful, but I need to do it,” he said in video recorded by Friends of the IDF.
It’s an emotional return back to a painful past for the 94-year-old, who traveled to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland more than 80 years after he was kept prisoner there.
Block 8 is where Schaecter was tortured and starved for nearly three years as a child.
He witnessed thousands of brutal murders, including those of his own family members, but he got out of it alive.
“I tell them that I’m the witness,” he said. “I’ve lived it. The Holocaust was real.”
Schaecter is the first Holocaust survivor and first member of the public to ever set foot in that block.
But the memorable moment was wrapped with heartache.
“I feel pain,” he said, “and it’s very difficult for me to relive the memories, but I’m here.”
He walked through the cold walls with IDF soldiers by his side, with a strength to face a dark memory that surrounded him as a child.
The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces’ mission “Holocaust to Independence” gave Schaecter the chance to overcome this painful memory into a triumphant part of his life.
“Coming with the IDF gives me the absolute total secure feeling that the Holocaust will never be forgotten,” he said.
Back in January, 7News spoke to Schaecter about a new, interactive hologram that will give people the chance to know his story.
Visitors at the Boston Holocaust Museum will be able to ask him all they’d like to know.
“There are still people that deny the Holocaust,” Schaecter said, “and I want the people that come here, I want them to know that I was here in Auschwitz.”
Now, his story will continue to live on, Together with this…
“I am a Holocaust survivor,” he said.
His truth will never be forgotten.
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