Schroon Lake A Holocaust survivor, Murray Jaros has seen the worst of humanity. He’s also seen the best.
“My story is not really about the suffering, but of the people who helped us,” Jaros said. “It’s a story of hope. What’s remarkable is not my story of survival, but what’s remarkable is what others did so I could survive.”
Jaros will speak Thursday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. in the Schroon Lake Central School auditorium at the invitation of the student National Honor Society. The program is free and open to the community.
“The Schroon Lake National Honor Society lecture series is intended to provide meaningful education on a topic for the benefit of students and the community alike,” said Caleb Maisonville, NHS secretary. “We’re pleased to welcome Mr, Jaros to talk about his experiences as a Holocaust survivor.”
Two years ago Jaros told his story to students at Ticonderoga High School.
A summer day in 1941 the 8-year-old Jaros was outside when he heard a noise in the sky. It was a plane, the first he had ever seen in rural Poland. Moments later, bombs began to fall.
“We lived in a very rural, small town,” he said. “We didn’t have electricity or communication with other towns. I didn’t even know there was a war.”
Soon the German army arrived, setting up camp near his home. The Nazi war machine was little more than a curiosity for Jaros.
“They had tanks, trucks, machine guns,” he recalled. “I’d never seen any of those things. They never threatened us.”
That changed that fall when German SS officers arrived. The SS, the Schutzstaffel, were a special unit assigned the task of identifying and eliminating threats to the Third Reich. It became infamous for its war crimes and for advocating the Final Solution — the execution of 6 million Jews.