Wednesday evening (Sept 18) Halocaust survivor and Spirit of Anne Frank Outstanding Citizen Award winner Irving Roth will bring his stories and memoirs to the Conexus Arts Centre. Roth, who just turned 90 earlier this month, was born in what was known as Czechoslovakia in 1929 and says life before the war and before 1939 was actually quite good.
“Life in Czechoslovakia was wonderful, particularly for a young child living in a small city in a beautiful house with my parents and older brother, my grandparents, going to school, having all the facilities the modern world of the 1930’s had,” he stated.
Little did he know things were about to change for him and his family in terribly horrific ways that millions of other Jewish families would also experience. He says things really began to change around 1939.
“The first thing I knew I was no longer allowed to enter the park and I was no longer allowed to go to the beach because I was a Jew and, so these small little things began to happen because I was a Jew and they escalated.”
Roth survived the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald and eventually emigrated to the United States where he got married, had a family, and held a job. As his kids got older they started asking their father about his tattoo on his arm. That’s when he began telling them bits and pieces of his past, which eventually led to a speaking engagement at his youngest son’s school fifty years ago. To this day he continues to speak to school and university students, parents, and audiences all over about his experiences to educate the public about what happened in the Holocaust.
You can hear my entire interview with Irving Roth including what his presentation will be about by CLICKING HERE.
(Pictured: Irving Roth. Photo provided by Chabad Jewish Centre of Regina)