Holocaust survivor speaks to FGCU students on campus

Reporter: Sydney Persing Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

A Holocaust survivor visited Florida Gulf Coast University campus to share his stories of the horrors he endured, including the murder of his two cousins by Nazis. Stories also included the programs such as orchestras and plays the Nazis used to make camps seem more tolerable to its prisoners and the public at large.

Sidney Taussig is getting older.

“I can’t believe it. I can’t believe I’m 90,” Taussig said with laughter.

And it’s incredible that Taussig can even laugh at all. He is among the few living Holocaust survivors.

Taussig shared his story with FGCU students Monday, sharing the genocide he witnessed so generations may never forget.

“This is my first time hearing a Holocaust survivor and meeting one in person,” said Peter Noll, an FGCU student. “And it was an absolutely amazing experience.”

Taussig was just shy of 13 years old when he was taken to Tezerin, a concentration camp in former Czechoslovakia Nazi leader Adolf Hitler used as the site for a propaganda film.

The Nazi Germans forced prisoners to create the illusion of happiness. The Nazis even allowed the Jews to play music and perform plays, including a play FGCU professor Tom Cimarusti’s music history class is studying.

“Sidney was actually the roommate of the person who played the main character,” Cimarusti said.

Taussig refuses to let his age, travel or long hours get in the way of sharing his message.

“There is an evil in the world, and it can come any time, any time,” Taussig said.

Taussig shared the story of a confrontation he had with a man in Texas.

“He asked if anybody is a Jew,” Taussig said. “And I said, ‘I am Jewish.’ And he says, ‘How come you don’t have horns?’”

Russian soldiers liberated Taussig’s camp in May 1945. Only 150 children sent to the camp survived.

As he wrapped up his lecture and students shook his hand, Taussig told us he never stops thinking about the Holocaust and questions the actions of those who committed evil atrocities.

“I just can’t understand it. How people can be mean like that?” Taussig said.

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