MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Victor Cynamon has a story to share…and he tells it to young people every time he has the chance. He survived the holocaust, he’s one of the few in his family who did. “How many in people in your family did you lose?” asked CBS 4’s Ted Scouten. “40 or 50,” Cynamon said.
Cynamon was a teen when the Nazi’s grabbed his family. His mom was the first one ripped away while they were at a train station. “They took my mother away,” he said, “She looked at me, she didn’t want to say anything. That was the last time I saw her.”
Cynamon was sent to Mydanek, in Poland. That’s a notorious killing factory. Nearly everyone who went there was sent to the gas chambers and the ovens. Cynamon was able to get out by sneaking into a barracks where prisoners were being transferred to work detail. “There’s a barrack next door where they prepared the Jews to leave the next morning for the munitions factory,” he said, “So they opened the door for me, they took a chance, I knocked on the door, they got the clothes. In the morning no one knew who I was.”
Cynamon’s mission now is to make sure that no one ever forgets what happened to 6 million Jews and millions of others at the hands of hate. “You start to put yourself in their position,” said 17 year old Michael Rub. “(I) start looking at how would I respond.”
The Rub brothers have spent valuable time with Victor and other survivors, hearing their heartbreaking stories of how they lost their families…but lived to tell powerful stories of survival. “it makes you want to cry,” said Daniel Rub. “It’s just a miracle,” chimed in Jonathon Rub. “Their stories are insane about how they survived.”
They realize survivors will not be around forever to tell the stories, so they know they have a purpose now too. “Every possible way, I try to get the word out, because people have to know,” said Jonathon. “So people won’t be ignorant when the holocaust survivors eventually pass on.”
The program pairing up youth and seniors was open to the public at the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center.