BY. N. JAFFARY
SHSM and Grade 12’s with Andy Reti
Thursday, October 29th students of Grade 12 Living Cultures as well as members of the Social Justice SHSM had the chance to hear the story of Andy Reti, a holocaust survivor. His escort Danny, an educator from the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, introduced him to the class and gave an extensive presentation on genocide.
Mr. Reti’s father was murdered by the Nazis at the age of 33. When he was only two years old, his family was forced to live in a ghetto. For two years they lived in a two bedroom apartment alongside 27 other victims of the Nazi regime. Mr. Reti commended his mother’s strength to keep her family safe in such crowded living conditions; in his words she was “ an extraordinary woman”.
He also recalled the first time he got bread after they were liberated. It was extremely touching to hear him describe his family’s struggle to return to normal even after the war was over.
The title of Mr. Reti’s presentation was The Ring of Love. He explained that the surviving families only made it because of how much their families meant to them. He said that each survivor story was actually a love story. He brought the ring that gave his mother the inspiration to fight for her family for the class to see. His mother wrote a book, An Ordinary Woman in Extraordinary Times and later Mr. Reti wrote a sequel to it, Son of an Extraordinary Woman. Mr. Reti donated a copy of his book to the school library so that we could remember his lesson of love and hope.
The Ring of Love. Photos courtesy of C. Abes and J. Newman.