On May 2005 I went on The March of the Living with a Montreal delegation. I marched on behalf of six million Jews who were murdered. I also marched on behalf of my grandfather Bernhard ‘Beno’ Shmilovich who was a holocaust survivor. Since my early childhood, my grandfather has told me the story of his survival as a child in the Ghetto.
My grandfather was born in 1936 and he was a resident in a Ghetto in Neamţ County, Romania. As a young child, he lost his left eye while running into hiding during a Nazi action – an action in which he witnessed Jews (friends and family among them) being taken away from the ghetto. He survived the horrors and came to Israel.
My grandfather always encouraged me to read about the holocaust. Granted, the horrors he witnessed were not the worst of what had actually happened to Jews during WWII, but they haunted him nonetheless.
When he heard I was going on the March of the Living, he called me from Israel and told me his story once again. He asked me to march on his behalf and on behalf of his family and friends who were brutally murdered by the Nazis.
Sadly, my grandfather is no longer alive and I have taken it upon myself to tell his story, to tell about the horrors he and many other Jews endured. I am proud to be Jewish. I am proud to live in Israel. I am proud to have had him as my grandfather.
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