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Local News

March 10, 2011

A story of Holocaust survival

A man who survived it shares his story

Ada — Max Glauben, Holocaust survivor, spoke about his experiences Wednesday evening at an East Central University diversity lecture.

“Prepare yourselves,” Glauben said as he began.  “Sometimes when you talk about horrible things, they create hate.  I don’t want to create hate.  I want to create love.”

Glauben said he’s gone on the March of the Living, a program that allows international students to tour Holocaust sites in Poland, where Glauben was.

“When you see a play in school without scenery, it’s equivalent to us telling you about the Holocaust,” he said.  “When you go on the March of the Living and you see the actual ovens, gas chambers and the ashes, that’s when you finish your knowledge because the scenery enhances what you’ve learned about the Holocaust.”

Glauben said most places associated with the Holocaust in Poland were destroyed by the Germans.  He said he’s committed to going back to help younger generations understand what happened during the years between 1939 and 1945.

“As long as my legs carry me, I’ll go back,” he said.

Glauben said he lived in Warsaw, Poland with his family.  When Poland was occupied by Germany, he said Jewish families were subjected to laws passed in Germany by the Nazi party regulating how Jews could live.  Soon, he said, Warsaw’s Jews were rounded up and put in the Warsaw ghetto.  Glauben said he was a smuggler in the Warsaw ghetto.

The Jews in the ghetto eventually rebelled.  Nazi forces torched the ghetto and shipped its residents to concentration camps.

Glauben said most of his family was killed but he and his father were sent to Budzyn concentration camp.

“In most of the camps, the brutality of the commander determined how we were treated,” he said.  He said the food in all the camps was the same.  Jews were given one bowl of soup and one slice of bread per day.  He said the flour in the bread was often mixed with sawdust and other powders.

“The bread was baked in a pan like a pound cake because the mixture was so loose, it would be one big pancake if they put it in an oven,” Glauben said.

Glauben’s father died after three weeks in the camp and Glauben was sent to Mielec, Wielicza and Flossenburg concentration camps.

“When we marched from the camps that usually were built next to German factories in order to provide slave labor, we had to march, keep cadence and sing,” he said.  “If you didn’t do it, you never reached one or the other.”

While on one of these marches in 1945, Glauben was finally liberated.  He was drafted into the United States Army and trained at Fort Hood, Texas.  He served in the Korean War.

Glauben said he believes angels helped him survive the Holocaust.

“Maybe I was left to tell you the story of the Holocaust,” he said.  “None of the ashes are alive to talk to you.  None of the barracks, none of the shoes, none of the showers or crematoriums can talk to you.”

He currently lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife, Frieda.

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