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Holocaust survivor turns 101: ‘We should love each other, not hate each other’

City gives key to Holocaust survivor on his 101th birthday
City gives key to Holocaust survivor on his 101th birthday

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Centenarian Julius Eisenstein can still talk about his time as a Nazi prisoner during the Holocaust. But he wasn’t doing that on Tuesday in Hallandale Beach. Instead, he was talking about his life lessons.

A caravan with a police escort drove by his home to celebrate his 101st birthday. During the party, which The Holocaust Documentation and Education Center also contributed to, Eisenstein said we need to be good to each other.

“Don’t hate each other; love each other,” Eisenstein said while wearing a “Not All Heroes Wear Capes” face mask made out of fabric.

Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper got close to him when she gave him the key to the city in front of local photojournalists. She said it was a tribute to all that he has done to educate others about the World War II genocide of the European Jews.

Eisenstein was born in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, a town in central Poland, on Oct. 13, 1919. He was 19 when the Nazis separated him from his family. He never saw his parents or his three sisters again.

During his many talks, Eisenstein has said he witnessed how soldiers used machine guns to shoot down Jews in the streets, and how they forced him to live in a Jewish ghetto before sending him to a camp.

Eisenstein survived Auschwitz II-Birkenau concentration camp near Brzezinka, a village in southern Poland. His brother helped him to escape, but Nazi soldiers caught him again and sent him to work at six other concentration camps in Germany.

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Photo: Holocaust survivor Julius Eisenstein and Rositta E. Kenigsberg at the opening of the exhibit "A Legacy to Remember" at the Holocaust Documentation & Education Center. (Howie Sonnenschein/Courtesy) An exhibit featuring more than 65 art pieces detailing real-life events of the Holocaust is now on display at the Holocaust Documentation & Education Center in Dania Beach, Florida. “A Legacy to Remember”, an art exhibit by artist Mark L. Cohen of West Palm Beach, is presented by the HDEC, 303 N. Federal Highway in Dania Beach, through Oct. 4. The exhibit includes art pieces that reference actual photos taken during the Holocaust. Cohen also painted personal portraits of Holocaust survivors for this exhibit. Cohen said the purpose of providing this exhibit is to give another kind of voice to the actuality of the Holocaust. “It seems like there is more and more Holocaust denial these days, so my purpose is for people to take a look at these paintings, and once they do, it will be hard for them to deny that the Holocaust actually happened.” Full story on the exhibit in the Sun Sentinel can be found here: https://bit.ly/2HiUOnk @sfmhdec #holocaust #documentation #education #neverforget #survivors @sunsentinel @daniabeachfl #goseeit #alegacytoremember @jewishmiami @miami.jewish

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Eisenstein has talked about his experience at the Dachau concentration camp. The U.S. Army’s 42nd and 45th Infantry Divisions and the 20th Armored Division freed him in April 1945. The Holocaust Documentation and Education Center has a picture of him celebrating with other prisoners.

Eisenstein worries about not being able to visit schools during the coronavirus pandemic to do his part to help prevent genocides. He believes education is key. This is why he still has the Third Reich’s identification tattoo on his left forearm.

“Do not let that happen again,” Eisenstein said. “Everybody who hates each other, this is not the place for it. We should love each other, not hate each other."

About the Authors:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.