MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A man traveled thousands of miles to South Florida to tell a very important story and educate young people about the Holocaust.
CBS4’S Walter Makaula caught up with Jan Malecha who gives guided tours of a Nazi concentration camp.
It’s not his story, but rather one that belongs to millions of people who were exterminated simply because they were Jewish.
According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in 1933, there were approximately 9 million Jews living in Europe. By 1945, the Nazis had reduced that number to nearly 3 million.
As the years pass, we lose more and more of the survivors who made it out of the concentration camps alive. While that number dwindles, so do the first-hand accounts of the lessons in tolerance Malecha said we must all remember. That is why he said he works as a Nazi concentration camp tour
“You have to think of these as also cemeteries,” he told students at Washington Carver Middle School on Thursday.
Jan visited George Washington Carver Middle School to share his knowledge with the kids of what they’ve already been studying in class. The lesson he shares, they can’t learn from a text-book.
“To me it’s always important to ask why it could happen, and then we speak about human behavior and tell them this was not only pressure on society the whole time. People could’ve made decisions to help,” said Malecha.
Craig Weiner of holocausteducationfund.com went on one of Jan’s tours of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp in Germany. He was so impressed with it, he decided to bring Jan back to Florida to help educate local kids.
Malecha said educating a whole new generation about an important and painful time in history helps ensure it’ll never happen again.
On Sunday, February 9th, Jan will be in Boca Raton to meet with holocaust survivors from the Buchenwald Concentration Camp where he works. Over the next five months, he’ll be speaking at schools across the state.
For more information, visit holocausteducation fund.com.