November 23, 2011 Edition

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Holocaust survivor
visits WR Airport

Having read books and seen movies about the Holocaust, it was quite an experience for us to hear Henry Greenbaum of the Washington, D.C., area. Greenbaum gave presentations last week at the Randolph County Development Center on the Black River Technical College campus in Pocahontas. "The opportunity to personally hear eyewitness accounts of this watershed event is rare and soon will disappear altogether," said Dr. Jan Ziegler, instructor of Holocaust Studies at BRTC. She believes the stories of the Holocaust need to be taught and remembered, and I agree.

Greenbaum's presentations, were the seventh in a series, and I hope there will be more.

Greenbaum, who is Jewish, grew up in Poland and was a boy when the Germans invaded his country. His story of survival is remarkable, and he still bears the tattoo of the number he was given by the Nazis.

Dina Hufstedler of Walnut Ridge and a BRTC staff member, was the event coordinator. She shared the following additional story about his visit.

"One of the highlights of this past week with our guests from D.C. was a trip to Walnut Ridge for lunch at the Parachute Inn. While there, a group of eight Army soldiers came in. They had flown in on four Apache helicopters from Ft. Carson, Colo., on their way to Ft. Bragg, N.C.

"I asked one of them about where they were from. I told them about having a Holocaust survivor here doing presentations and how he mentioned the Army men as being his angels during the liberation. He asked for permission to have his picture taken with Henry. He also offered to take us out and show us the helicopters.

"On our way out of the restaurant, Henry stopped at the table with the others and told them they were his saviors. I have pictures of Henry with the two soldiers in front of an Apache. They conversed for a long time and it was so touching, certainly the highlight of my week and also a highlight for Henry!

"Although he has personally met and visited with General Petraeus - whom he speaks very highly of - you can tell that his admiration for this particular group as a whole is equally amazing, even though these particular gentlemen (and woman) weren't even born at the time the Army turned his life around.

"Both of these men had flown these Apaches in combat in Afghanistan, so I was as honored to meet them as I was Henry. For one, I thought it was neat seeing the Apache helicopters at our airport, but for them to meet a Holocaust survivor during their stop and for Henry (us) to meet them, was certainly a unique and exciting experience."

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