Holocaust Survivor shares his memories - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Holocaust Survivor shares his memories


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Remembering the victims and survivors of the Holocaust is something one local man does every day. Yet this past week, an entire nation did, on Holocaust Rememberance Day.

We take a look at a local Holocaust Survivor as he shared his memories Sunday at Rochester's Synagogue.

His story began in Germany, in 1924. Born, as Jerry Valfer.

"The first 6-7 years of my life they were just like normal people living," explained Jerry.

Everything would change, when Hitler came to power, in 1933. Jews began to lose privileges.

"After the sixth grade I got torn out of the school, there was no more education," recalled Jerry.

Valfer's life would continue to change. In 1938, Jerry and his father were confronted by Nazis.

"The Nazi's went up to the front door, with guns pointed at us and took us away, my father and me," stated Jerry.

Jerry's father would be sent to a concentration camp and in the next few years, Jerry would be as well. While working on a farm in Denmark, in 1934, Jerry was kidnapped and taken to a concentration camp. There he lived in a stone barrack, with no sanitation and little food.

"We lived on one pound of bread. Now remember one pound of bread is only about that much, for three days," explained Jerry.

With a lack of food and water, Jerry said he saw many people die of starvation. In total, nearly 6-million Jews lost their lives during the Holocaust.

Eventually, Jerry would find himself reunited with his parents at a concentration camp in the early 1940's. He recalled that his family was one of the few that made it out alive, together. In the years to follow Jerry would find himself in the United States, with only a small suitcase, as his sole possession.

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