Holocaust survivors express concern about war in Ukraine

Posted at 6:39 PM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 18:39:53-04

A 2020 survey shows roughly 10% of adults under the age of 40 haven’t heard the world “Holocaust.” It’s part of a growing fight against time for Holocaust survivors as they share their stories about World War II, especially as the crisis in Ukraine intensifies.

"I would never believe the world would produce another crisis like this," said Mary Eckstein.

Seventy-seven years ago, Eckstein’s escape from the Holocaust as an 8-year-old girl is forever embedded in her memory.

“It’s a terrible thing when you leave your home with only the clothes you wear,” she said, “you don’t know where you’re going to go.”

Eckstein is acutely aware she’s fighting time to tell her story to a world on the edge of another atrocity.

The number of Holocaust survivors is dwindling, and she doesn’t want their stories to be dimmed.

Now, she faces another fear growing deeper each day.

“I am very, very sympathetic for all of the Ukrainian refugees, because I know myself and what they’re going through,” said Eckstein.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is drawing horrifying memories—a mixture of pain and perpetual fear.


“So far, the world was able to avoid a world war,” Eckstein said, “and I don’t know if it’s going to happen this time.”

At the same time, Father Patrick Desbois, is forced to pause his extensive and ongoing investigation into the war crimes committed under Adolph Hitler’s “final solution.”

“The parallel is that Hitler wanted Ukraine to be part of Germany. It was his vision and Putin has a vision,” said Desbois, Founder & President of Yahad-In Unum.

Over decades, he’s identified more than 2,000 mass killing sites--passionate about providing proper burials for the victims of the Ukrainian Holocaust.

His worry about the crisis is now a warning.

“I would like to say to people wake up before it’s too late,” Desbois said. “We underestimated Putin.”

It’s shattering the peace on the planet

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