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Holocaust Survivor Speaks With Students

WWII refugee tells his story for Holocaust Rembrance Month.

By Nathan Mcmahon | Staff Writer
On May 18, 2011

At 77 years old, David Lux's white, bushy eyebrows stand out prominently over his eyes. He sits with a firm comfort that age affords. His soft-spoken voice mixes many accents and timbres that could only be acquired with a well-traveled life.

Lux, with his older brother, survived the Holocaust as Jewish refugees. His parents, along with an estimated 6.5 million European Jews, did not. When speaking about the fate of his parents, it's matter-of-factly as if the sky is blue.

"Now at the age of 12 and 13, that's how old we were … we had to come to the painful conclusion; we had to grow up and come to this painful conclusion, that we would never see them again, and get on with our lives."  

Lux was the guest speaker for last week's Holocaust Remembrance event at Valley College, sponsored by Hillel at Valley, German Club, and the Jewish Studies Department.

After eventually finding shelter, Lux's parents were approached by a woman who offered the children a chance to escape by taking them into a program called Kindertransport. As well as Lux perceives, his parents were the only ones in their neighborhood to accept the offer.

"I can only imagine the pain that my parents must have felt the moment we were taken away," said Lux.  

Kindertransport saved his life, but never saw his parents again. "After [my brother and I] left, [my parents] eventually were relocated to a Jewish ghetto in Slovakia where they stayed ‘til the early 1940s and … that's when they were put on a train to Auschwitz and that was it," stated a somber Lux.

He and his brother arrived in England and lived in a boys' home with other child refugees. This was home for the next 10 years. Lux and his brother had no idea that they were part of only 669 children saved by a British businessman named Nicholas Winton. Winton had secretly put up the money for these children to be transported into England to be taken care of.

Approximately 10,000 children, from a multitude of Eastern European countries were saved by similar programs in the months before Germany's invasion of Poland, sparking World War II. With nearly every seat in Monarch Hall filled, Lux told his life story.

As this horrible event changed his path in life, Lux survived because of the love of his parents and the kindness of strangers.

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