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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Ninety-six-year-old Holocaust survivor speaks at Texas A&M

Photo by Olivia Treadwell

Dr. Jacob Eisenbach shares his personal experiences with the terrors of the Holocaust. 

One of the few remaining Holocaust survivors, Dr. Jacob Eisenbach, shared his moving testimony at Rudder Auditorium in front of a sold-out audience Monday night.
Eisenbach is a 96-year-old retired dentist who now devotes his time to travelling the world and sharing his story of surviving the Holocaust, ultimately aiming to put an end to genocide. Throughout Eisenbach’s journey, he lost his family, lived in concentration camps and avoided the gas chamber.
Eisenbach explained how when the war began, much of Poland was completely unprotected.
“Their army moved around on horses,” Eisenbach said.
They invaded his hometown of Lodz, Poland, and within seven days, all 700,000 people were gone. The German soldiers moved his family to a Nazi ghetto surrounded by barbed wire fences which were guarded by armed soldiers in watchtowers.
“One day, the Nazis came with machine guns, and there was a massacre,” Eisenbach said. “They killed 110,000 Jews in 10 days.”
Eisenbach said Cordell Hull, the U.S. Secretary of State during the Holocaust, would not admit Jewish refugees to the U.S. because they would not have a home to return to.
“He did not wear a swastika on his arm, but he had hatred in his heart,” Eisenbach said.
At one point, the Nazis called Eisenbach for deportation, and he did not report. Instead, he went into hiding. He and his brother, Sam, hid in an apartment, under a pile of straw behind a padlocked door for months before police found them. Eisenbach thought his brother would stay there and let the police take him to the gas chambers, but he did not.
Eisenbach said his brother told him“‘Jacob, our whole family is now gone, it’s only you and me that are left. Now they are taking you away. I am not staying here by myself. I am going with you. Where you go, I go.’”
“Where You Go, I Go” is the name of Eisenbach’s book, and it was this event with his brother that influenced the title.
The brothers did not go to the gas chambers. Because of their young age, they were taken to a concentration camp to work.
“I was grinding bullets,” Eisenbach said. “Can you imagine, grinding bullets for the Germans, so they could kill us?”
Eisenbach shared several stories about surrounding countries providing refuge for Jewish people, endangering their own lives. Despite everything he went through, Eisenbach said he never lost faith in humanity.
“How can I possibly lose faith in humanity when such great humanitarians put their lives a stake for hundreds of thousands of Jewish people?” Eisenbach asked. “Genocides have been happening for thousands of years, not only against Jews but also against all kinds of nationalities, religions and races. Millions of people have died in genocides. It’s about time that we do something about it.”
Chabad Jewish Student Group hosted the event at Texas A&M.

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