Surviving the Holocaust

Larrah Gesulgon, Staff Writer

Among the Holocaust survivors, Mr. Levy is one of the oldest. He was born on March 7th, in 1936. The Nazi Party had just taken over Germany when Mr. Levy was born in Berlin. Mr. Levy has a big family. There were barely a few survivors out of his vast family.  “The death of one person is a tragedy, a million is a statistic” as Joseph Stalin once said in a statement that Mr. Levy quoted in his speech. 

When many Jews were arrested and taken away, his family moved to avoid the bloodshed. They were unable to cross the border, though, as most countries are strict and don’t allow Jews. The St. Louis ship carried 960 Jews. Authorities refused to allow them to enter Cuba when they arrived there. When Germany invaded Belgium, Mr. Levy and his family weren’t safe for very long. There was a Cardinal who was eager to assist Jewish children. An institution for Catholic youth was founded by Cardinal van Roey. Parents wanted their children to be safe but they were concerned that sending their children to live in a Catholic convent might convert them to Catholics. The cardinal reassured them that his only concern is the safety of Jewish children. “Without Cardinal van Roey a lot of people wouldn’t survive,” as Mr. Levy said. 

Mr. Levy had to change his name to Arthur Martin in order to elude the German authorities when he was ordered to spend the length of the war living in a convent. According to Mr. Levy, they had lice, they suffered from starvation, and illness throughout their two years there. His time spent in the convent altered his perspective on things forever.  The Gestapo detained Mr. Levy’s relatives and they were sent to concentration camps where they eventually perished. He found out they died when he saw a book containing a list of persons who died in Auschwitz and saw the names of his relatives. I believe Mr. Levy’s goal in sharing his story is to help us understand what was happening that time, and to give us an accurate story of life with his own experience during the Holocaust.