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International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Dallas survivors reflect

“It brings back the memories of my 40 relatives who were killed,” survivor Rosian Zerner told WFAA.

DALLAS — Every year on January 27, people across the world recognize International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

This year, WFAA sat down with two Dallas-based survivors.

And they had so much to say.

“It brings back so many memories,” survivor Rosian Zerner said.

“It brings back the memories of my 40 relatives who were killed.”

Zerner was just six when she was sent to a ghetto in Lithuania. She escaped after her parents dug a small hole in the fence.

Andras Lacko was eight when he narrowly avoided the ghettos some 1,200 miles south in Hungary. He got scarlet fever, and spent the war quarantined in a military hospital.

“I’m very glad that I’m able to tell this story, and I’m glad to share whatever details I can remember,” Lacko told WFAA.

WFAA spoke to Lacko and Zerner inside the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum. President and CEO Mary Pat Higgins said this Holocaust Remembrance Day carries extra weight this year. 

“We have lost more survivors,” she said.

“And so, I think I feel, it means more to me in a different way each year as we lose more of our survivors. This year, as we’ve all been thinking about the rise in antisemitism and the increase in hate crimes across the country.”

“I think it’s more important than ever.”

“Antisemitism is definitely on the rise,” Lacko said. “It makes me feel anxious and sad.”

But both believe that trend can be reversed. 

“Perhaps we can go beyond the hate, beyond the agendas, beyond the cruelty that seems to be mainstream lately,” Zerner told WFAA.

“Organizations like this here, this museum, present an incredible opportunity to reverse those trends,” Lacko added.

Zerner said reflecting on and learning about the past is crucial.

“Not because it’s enjoyable to focus on the suffering, but because the truth needs to be told.”

“The Jews are here to stay,” she smiled. “Hitler lost!”



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