“Man must be good to each other, and we must make the world a better place.” These are the commands from Seymour Kazimirski, the son of a Holocaust survivor who spoke to us at work this year during Holocaust Remembrance Day.
He discussed his mother’s story, which she survived to share often. She wrote a book that he offers free online. It is entitled, Witness to Holocaust. You can get it by simply typing her name in the search engine. Upon her death, her son, Seymour, took up her cause of sharing her story and the story of others.
Many people ask me why I still talk about the Holocaust after all these years,” he said. “For me, it’s all about the youth. The youth are the critical part of education.” Kazimirski said he believes in making the Holocaust something that people-especially young people-can relate to emotionally and not just “a paragraph in a schoolbook saying 6 million people were killed.”
“When I speak at schools, I ask, ‘How many of you live with your parents?’” he said. “Then I ask, ‘How many of you have brothers or sisters? Grandparents? Aunts and uncles?’ Then I say, ‘Imagine they are all dead. You have no one.’
Kazimirski’s mother, Ann, survived the Holocaust, but more than 60 of her relatives did not. In her book, “Witness to Horror,” Ann Kazimirski wrote of seeing her own mother lined up against a wall and shot. “I will never forget the image of the red blood staining the white snow,” she wrote. “I saw my beloved mother die and there was nothing I could do.”
For Kazimirski, reaching out to young people is especially important because they are the ones who “must stand up against bigotry. Anti-Jew, anti-black, anti-Muslim, anti-gay … are really anti-people,” he said. “We must be tolerant of all people and accept them for who they are. Don’t think for a moment you are better than them.”
In his short discussion with us, he discussed not only the Jewish Holocaust but also how the Hawaiian Japanese were held in internment camps at the same time that other Hawaiian Japanese were serving in the American military and freeing Jewish people from their internment camps and death camps. For more information about this, check out http://www.worldcat.org/title/hawaii-and-the-holocaust/oclc/764650434