Miracle survival, heroism, recalled at Texas march to remember Holocaust, fight antisemitism


Originally published in CBN News

Seventy marches in 15 nations are taking place this year to honor the memory of the Holocaust and speak out against anti-Semitism.

One of those took place in Texas recently, where more than 120 Jews and Christians gathered at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas for the March of Remembrance.

“Lithuania has the most dubious statistic of being the country in Europe that has killed more Jews as percentage to their population than any country in Europe. So, 96% or so are killed. And you’re looking at the 4% [that] are here,” Holocaust survivor Rosian Zerner told participants.

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Rosian shared how when she was six, Nazis took her family to a Lithuanian ghetto, where her parents engineered her escape.

“That’s just the first of my many, many miracles that I survived. [I] must live my life in gratitude now because of that. The other miracle is that my parents survived, and this was kind of unheard of in Lithuania to have an intact family,” Rosian said.

“The story is that I had two sons, my two sons had two children each and my brother had two children, and my mother lived to 101, and my father lived to 96 and Hitler lost,” she said.

German theologian Jobst Bitner began the March of Remembrance, also known as March of Life, as a German-Christian response to the Holocaust. It’s now a worldwide movement.

Renata Szysner-Hurd’s father and grandmother are considered Righteous Among the Nations.  Living in Poland, where helping Jews was punishable by death, they hid nine Jews for more than two years. And their home was right next to the German airport, filled with German soldiers who visited them frequently.

“In 1939, September 13th, it was a Rosh Hashanah, and all the Jewish people came to pray in a center. And at that time, the Germans surrounded everybody in the synagogue and pretty much burned them alive,” Renata related.

“My dad heard the rumours [and he was saying], ‘This cannot be. That’s not possible.’ So, he walked three and a half kilometres to town to find out if that’s just the rumours,” Szysner-Hurd explained. 

“But when he got to the city, indeed, he just saw the synagogue and the smell of, burning bodies. And on that day, he made a promise that if any of the Jewish people will ever need help, he will help them,” she said. “He was 17.”

She says it’s up to parents to combat anti-Semitism.

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