Holocaust survivor Leo Silberman spoke to students at Youngstown Christian School on Tuesday, Nov. 20, recounting his experience from 1941-1945, when he survived several slave labor camps and concentration camps, including Plaschow, Buchenwald, and Terezenstadt.
After liberation, Silberman was sent to a displaced persons camp in Germany where he met his future wife, Paula. In 1949, Silberman sailed to America and settled in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He then moved to Cleveland in 1951 where his wife Paula had settled with her family.
Silberman came to speak with the students as part of The International Book Sharing Project where students dialogue and partner with a school and students from Israel. This project focuses on young adult literature surrounding the Holocaust where students read and discuss a novel with students from Israel. The Jewish Community Center has been generous by funding our partnership in this program and they continue their generosity by giving Youngstown Christian School students this opportunity to hear the story of the Holocaust from an actual survivor.
After his presentation, Silberman answered questions from the students. When asked how it changed his life, he replied "It taught me to be kind to others and help those in need." He also explained how silently praying to God helped him keep faith and survive the imprisonment. Forgiveness, kindness, and grace are all values that Silberman embraces from his experiences.