PARKER, Colorado — Jack Adler is a Holocaust survivor from Poland, and for the last 10 years, he has shared his life experiences with the 7th-grade classes at Parker Core Knowledge Charter School.
“I think it’s important to educate, especially the young who are our future leaders,” Adler said. “And let them know what uncontrolled hatred did and can do.”
Adler spent more than five years in Jewish ghettos and concentration camps in Auschwitz, Kaufering and Dachau. He said he survived on advice he got from his father.
“My father told me every night when we were in the barracks ‘this will end very soon…don’t give up hope if you want to see your loved ones again’ and that’s what kept me going,” Adler said.
Adler spent ages 10 through 16 in concentration camps, and is the only survivor from his immediate family of six.
“I was on the death march out of Dachau, the Nazis took out a little over 7,000 people from Dachau,” Adler said. “Their intent was to kill us during the march.”
From Auschwitz, Adler was sent to Kaufering in Bavaria, a subcamp of the Dachau concentration camp, before ending up at Dachau itself. He came to the United States as a war orphan in 1946.
“We were marched out of Dachau April 7, 1945, and we were liberated May 1, 1945, by the United States 3rd and 7th army,” Adler said. “When I was admitted to the hospital, I weighed a little over 65 pounds.”
Adler hopes his life experiences can be a lesson for the students and the pages of his life will keep this part of history alive.
“I thought it was very interesting to hear a first person point of view,” 7th grader Sam Koch said. “Very interesting to hear about how scary it was and how hope saved his life.”
If you would like to learn more about Adler’s story, click or tap here.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS | Next with Kyle Clark