STUDENT Spotlight
Holocaust survivor visits Cockeysville Middle School
Student Spotlight
Holocaust survivor and Mays Chapel resident,
Mr. Rubin Sztajer

TOn Tuesday, May 19, Cockeysville Middle School welcomed an extraordinary guest: Holocaust survivor and Mays Chapel resident, Mr. Rubin Sztajer. We were captivated by his story of resilience and hope. We all took important lessons away from it, and we're so lucky to be able to hear him. 

Mr. Sztajer lived in a small Polish village with his parents and five siblings. He was 16 when German soldiers tore him, his older brother, and his older sister from his family, taking them to a Jewish ghetto. He never again saw the family he left behind.

In the next three years, Mr. Sztajer moved between concentration and labor camps, brushing death time and again. With incredible perseverance, he was finally liberated from the Bergen-Belsen camp and came to America. Here, he learned English and met his wife, Regina. Mrs. Sztajer accompanied him on his trip to CMS. She's a charming woman with a cute New York accent who seems right at home speaking to us seventh graders. They now have three children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

"Every time a grandchild is born, I consider it a slap in the face to Hitler," Mrs. Sztajer told us. 

Though his older brother and sister are also survivors, they are still unwilling to speak about the horrors of their experiences. Mr. Sztajer has spoken to tens of thousands of middle schoolers now, he estimates, and he's really done a great job of speaking to the heart. We're truly lucky to have been changed by his story. 

Story by Angela Qian, Student Good News Ambassador, Cockeysville Middle School


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