Everyday and especially today, on Holocaust Remembrance Day/Yom Hashoah, I am in awe of my Saba/Grandpa Jacob's amazing courage and ability to stay one of the most positive, loving and caring people on earth after experiencing first hand the horrors of the Holocaust.
Saba Jacob was born in Lodz, Poland in 1928. By the age of 11 he had lost both of his parents to starvation in the Lodz ghetto. In the years following he was moved from one concentration camp to another, in a list that includes Auschwitz and Dachau. After the war he was put in refugee camps until he was able to enter Israel in 1948. Once in Israel, he studied at an agricultural high school and went on to work for the Ministry of Agriculture.
Today he lives in Givataym, a suburb of Tel Aviv. He gives talks about his experiences in the Holocaust and has recorded his story for the archives of Yad VaShem. He only began talking about his experiences about 15 years ago when I asked him, unknowingly, to tell me his story for a school project in 6th grade. He came back to me with 12 pages of handwritten memories.