BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Inside WVU Tech’s Carter Hall on Sunday, April 15, 2018, a 1996 interview shows the trauma that the Nazi regime had on Max Lewin, Beckley’s lone Holocaust survivor.
His pain then was felt by those gathered for Yom HaShoah, translated as Holocaust Remembrance Day. Dr. Jim Owston was behind that camera 22 years ago, still haunted by Lewin’s experiences.
“Once we recorded the interview, he did not want it to air because he was so emotional,” Owsten said. “It was a terrible time in Europe, during the 1930’s and 1940’s. The worst of humanity.”
Six candles were lit to remember the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust, while a seventh represented all others who died in the concentration camps and other genocides throughout history.
Joseph Golden of Temple Beth El sees a huge lesson in looking at the past to have a better future.
“By him telling his story, each of us… say ‘What if we were Max? How would it affect us? What would we have suffered?'” Golden said. “If we can empathize with Max, we can also empathize with all our fellow people in this world.”