WINK Exclusive: Holocaust survivor talks about Israel-Gaza war

Reporter: Claire Galt Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Ken Wetcher was born in a slave labor camp and as the Israeli-Gaza war rages on, he can’t help but see similarities between Hamas and the Nazis.

Wetcher told his story exclusively to WINK News.

Wetcher told WINK News that even if Israel isn’t safe now, it’s the only place he believes is truly free of hate. Hamas says its goal is to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth. To Wetcher, this is an eerily reminiscent of the Holocaust.

“The reason is that I wasn’t in a concentration camp. I was just in a slave labor camp in Siberia,” Wetcher said.

He was born in a slave labor camp because his mother and father fled Poland to get to Russia in 1939.

“She had to steal some oats from horses in order to make soup for us to eat,” said Wetcher.

Eventually, Wetcher’s mother and father found each other in the United States.

“The first thing my parents did was enroll in school to learn English so that they could become involved in our society. The focus really was on the future, was on survival, was on going forward,” said Wetcher.

“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think to myself, when will I have to leave? When will I have to go someplace? And where can I go? Well, the only place I can go is Israel,” said Wetcher.

It’s difficult for Wetcher to describe what Israel means to him. It’s the Jewish Homeland.

“We saw the same kind of brutality. Children being slaughtered in front of their parents, parents being raped in front of their children, the same kind of brutality that existed there,” said Wetcher.

The resilience he saw in his mother is identical to what he sees in Israel now.

“We shall overcome that we shall move forward, we shall go forward, whatever has been done, we shall find a way around it,” said Wetcher.

Ken’s wife Goldie is on the board of directors for the Jewish National Fund – USA. She told WINK News the organization’s goal is to raise $10 million for the people of Israel, to provide aid and get people out.

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