Holocaust Survivor Celebrates 90 Years of Life Onstage

Stand for Israel  |  October 4, 2021

Holocaust survivor Simon Gronowski celebrated his 90th birthday this past weekend – by acting out his life onstage. The Jerusalem Post reports on the opera featuring the life story of the 90-year-old survivor – who survived because as a small boy he jumped from the train carrying his family to Auschwitz:

In a rundown old factory in Belgium, Holocaust survivor Simon Gronowski celebrated his upcoming 90th birthday on Sunday by starring in an opera inspired by his life – a history of love, faith and forgiveness overcoming the darkest tragedy.

Gronowski was 11 years old and living in Brussels when in 1943 Nazis put him, his mother and sister on a train bound for Auschwitz, the infamous death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

The train was briefly stopped by three Belgian resistance fighters in Boortmeerbeek, 30 kilometers (19 miles) northeast of Brussels. In the ensuing chaos, Gronowski jumped off. He went on to survive World War Two in hiding. His family perished at Auschwitz, where more than 1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed.

“I am here because of a miracle. I jumped out of a death convoy,” said Gronowski. “I was very unhappy when I was 14, 15, 20 years old. I cried a lot. But I never had hate. For me, hate is an illness. That I never had.”

Having been a much-loved child gave Gronowski the strength to overcome his tragedy, he said. In honor of his cherished sister, who was good at classical music and loved jazz, he became a jazz pianist…

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