Wright-Patt hears from Holocaust survivor

  • Published
  • By Darrius Parker
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – On April 18, over 70 Airmen and civilians came to Kenney Hall at the Air Force Institute of Technology or tuned in virtually to remember the past events of the Holocaust and hear about the experiences of history first-hand.

At the event, Renate Frydman, Holocaust survivor, curator and docent for the Holocaust exhibit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force as well as the director of the Dayton Holocaust Resource Center, shared her story.

Introducing Frydman, Chief Master Sgt. Lloyd Morales, 88th Air Base Wing command chief, spoke to the audience regarding her past and present.

“Dr. Frydman has been an advocate for teachers in Holocaust education and remembrance in the Dayton area since the 1960s,” Morales said. “Her story is one of strength during one of the biggest travesties in the history of humanity.”

Frydman told her family’s history, beginning with her grandfather deciding to leave his birth country to come to America so that she and her family would be safe. She showed and explained to the audience her Jewish-labeled passport as well as a photo of the train station from which she and her family departed Germany.

Frydman also told the story of her late husband, Anschel Frydman. As she reflected on her family’s past, she couldn’t help but mention how much her life had been impacted by Anschel, who was also a survivor of the Holocaust. During their marriage, she would ask her husband questions in order to write down his story so that they could create a single book explaining the persecution and experiences Anschel endured.

Unfortunately, Anschel past before the book was published, but Frydman reminisced to the audience about a particular time her husband spoke to the public about his story.

“My husband never really went out to speak with me because it was just too hard for him,” she said. “One time, I got him to go with me to Minster, Ohio, and as we were both sitting on the stage and I was the one who was supposed to be talking, he took the microphone and said this to seventh and eighth graders: ‘You kids don’t know how lucky you are to be born in the United States, and to have the freedom you have. It’s the most wonderful country in the world; there is nothing better.’”

Frydman followed Anschel’s quote and concluded by ensuring that everybody in the audience understood their responsibility to make the world better than before and practiced their own strength and resilience during hard times.

“I wish you the best of times, health, happiness and peace, and I wish you to be blessed by whoever you believe in,” she said.

The event can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdkyQXwrtw4.