Featured Dads

Son recounts lessons learned from Father who fled Nazi Germany

My father is a Holocaust escapee, His entire family was gassed in Auschwitz while he made his way over the Alps into Switzerland. Courtesy of the French and Swiss underground. For the remainder of the war he stayed in a boys home for Jewish orphans. As a teenager, the Red Cross discovered a distant relative who had fled Germany in the early 30's and eventually took my Dad into his home. My Dad went to high school, learned english and was drafted into the US Army despite not being a citizen. They sent Dad to Germany of course given his fluency. This is where he met my Mom, also a youth war survivor.
 
My Dad taught me resiliency. No matter life's circumstances, you can rebound and become a success. He taught me 
about discipline…you might not be faster than everyone but you can out hustle them by working harder and 3. He taught me that forgiveness is key to happiness. Dad could hate on Germans and hate on religion for what happened to him in the concentration camp but he forgave and chose love over hate.
 
The resiliency I learned has been used this to bounce back in life on many occasions. With discipline, I wanted to be competitive and sports and while I was never the fastest or had the best build I out worked many and made it to the top of my sport representing Team USA in Triathlon/Duathlon. Also in the workplace, it was the same….not the smartest or best but outworked others to reach the top. Finally, I adopted Grace as a way of life and it has kept me from becoming bitter or mad.
 
I love Mom's and the critical role they play, however I feel dads have been overlooked. Dad's are needed just as badly. So don't defer to Mom. Dad's – take up your role with authority and lead your children well.
 
I go back to my Dad as being 6 years old and taken with his entire family to a concentration camp where they are all gassed after he escapes. He comes to the US and makes the most of life and serves our country in the Army for 20 years including Vietnam combat. He then serves 20+ years as a cival servant. He has dedicated his life to the country that adopted him…USA.