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Wednesday, Jan 27, 2021 at 7:11 pm

SU Students Reflect on Grandparents on Holocaust Remembrance Day

Yaw Bonsu, SYRACUSE, N.Y. – International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a day made to honor those who were victims of Nazi invasions and attacks. 

Two Syracuse University students, Jeremy Grafstein and Emily Karp, use this day to remember the feats of strength and courage that their grandparents went through. 

Grafstein was first made aware of his grandfather’s experience through an over three-and-a-half-hour interview by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

“When they [Nazi] were exacuating all the jews, basically my entire family was on the run,” Grafstein said. “My grandpa’s brother Abraham formed a Polish resistance group…he got a hiding place on a farm for my family.”

Grafstein’s grandfather hid on this farm for over seven years from the ages of 9 to 16. His family was forced to use all of their valuables to pay for the hiding space. 

For Karp, her great grandmother used her multilingual ability to escape Nazi soldiers. “She faked her identity,” Karp said. “She said she was a teacher because she spoke six different languages.” 

The journey for Karp’s grandmother included going through Vienna, Siberia, Iran and Ellis Island.

Both Grafstein and Karp use these stories as fuel in their individual lives. “People say never forget…but also never let it happen again,” said Grafstein. “To see his story from generation to generation passed on, I think that’s what is important.”

“It’s important to know these stories and remember these stories of our ancestors so it doesn’t happen again,” said Karp. “We need to remember it in a way that we can prevent it.”

Note: Emily Karp is a Correspondent and Executive Producer for CitrusTV News.