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Holocaust Survivors Tell Their Stories

Prisoners at Ebensee Concentration Camp in 1945
Creative Commons
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With each passing year, we lose more survivors of World War II. And not just the soldiers who fought, but the targeted civilians who survived the Holocaust. In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, we share a few of their stories.

We begin by talking with speakers from the Chapel Hill-Durham Holocaust Speakers Bureau. It works to preserve the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations. Host Frank Stasio talks with three people from the Bureau: Sharon Halperin, the daughter of two Holocaust survivors; Peter Stein, a survivor from Czechoslovakia; and Renee Fink, a survivor from Holland.

This portion of the program is a rebroadcast from earlier this year. 

Host Frank Stasio also talks  with Major General Sidney Shachnow, a survivor from Lithuania.

Maj. Gen. Shachnow was imprisoned in the Kovno concentration camp in Lithuania when he was just seven years old. He lived there for three years, before he escaped and lived in hiding until the end of the war.

Unfortunately, the end of the war didn't bring much relief. Life under Soviet rule brought new challenges. His family walked nearly 2,000 miles to find safety during this time.

When the war ended, suffering did not end. -Maj. Gen. Shachnow

When Sid was a teenager, his family immigrated to the United States. He attended school for the first time and later joined the U.S. Army, where he became a decorated major general.

Maj. Gen. Shachnow speaks at Elon University tonight at 7:30 p.m.

He also penned a memoir, "Hope and Honor" (Tom Doherty Associates/2004).

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.