Most people know that Holocaust survivor Joe Engel, a survivor of the notorious Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, is a special and beloved person in our community.
He has been recognized and honored numerous times. There is a street named after him in downtown Charleston and even a movie about him. He has told his story to tens of thousands of students of all ages over the years in the hopes of educating a new generation of leaders to prevent a future Holocaust.
Synagogue Emanu-El is proud to honor Engel as we observe the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, which occurred on Jan. 27, 1945.
Just days prior to the liberation, as Soviet forces approached the camp, the SS forced some 60,000 prisoners, Engel among them, to evacuate. The Nazis didn’t want the prisoners to fall into enemy hands and tell their stories to the liberators. Instead, they forced them to march some 35 miles in what became known as the death march.
En route, the prisoners suffered from the freezing cold, starvation and exhaustion. Those who fell or stopped to rest were shot by the Nazis. As many as 15,000 died.
Those who survived were put on “cattle trains” for further evacuation. It was from one of these trains that Engel escaped. Hunted by the Nazis, he buried himself in the snow until they moved on. Eventually, he joined with partisans in the forest until he was liberated by the Red Army in March 1945.
Engel would discover that he had lost about 150 relatives in the Holocaust.
Engel has dedicated his life to talking to students and other groups to tell people what he saw with his own eyes and to make sure the lessons of the Holocaust are not forgotten.
How ironic that as we pause to remember this event 75 years ago and honor someone who was there, we are in the midst of some of the most vicious anti-Semitic attacks occurring in our world today. Have we not learned that prejudice can lead to violence?
Think about it
A sandwich always tastes better cut in half.
Now is a good time to pick out your obituary picture because everyone’s going to need a good one.
A “ghost drain” is a mechanic’s term for an unknown leak in energy from a car’s battery. Many parents experience a similar phenomenon.
It’s highway robbery what some banks are charging now for a batch of checks.
Wonder what those arrogant tree trimmers would think if we went to their yards and gashed their trees?
Solve I-526 with a nonresident toll.
From beginning to end, having five friends is all you need.
The only one who can stop Charleston’s flooding is God, and he’s busy frying bigger fish at the moment.
A few weeks ago, we lost our 12-year-old springer spaniel, Rosebud, to a chronic disease.
Rosebud (“RB”) came to us from a shelter in Lancaster as a matted and sick but spunky 2-year-old. This was our introduction to the world of dog rescue.
RB was a street dog with a protective attitude much larger than she was. I recall her putting a fully grown German shepherd in its place after trying to visit her water bowl. Over the years, she grew up with our family, always welcoming family members home and keeping an eye on the neighborhood. She now rests alongside her canine sisters.
She did not know it, but her introducing us to the world of rescue has impacted the dog world immensely, from the 32 dogs we have fostered (also known as being “polished”) to the hundreds my wife has helped find homes for as an administrator with English Springer Rescue America, to the thousands of people she met at the ESRA booth at SEWE.
I think Rosebud knew how much she meant to us, but I’m sure she had no idea how many other dogs and their families she helped or how she put a bright spot in people’s lives every day.
Rosebud, you did well.
TIMOTHY C. KIEL
A welcome present
I was a patient at the Life Care of North Charleston Therapy Center recently.
On Dec. 22, the Sunday before Christmas, a group of 19 girls who were part of a Girl Scout troop came through my wing and presented all patients with their own bright-orange blanket for a Christmas present.
My heart and those of other patients were forever touched. So many seniors deserve warm surprises like this. I will be forever thankful for this kind gesture.
I also want to commend and thank the medical and therapeutic staff at Life Care. They all give their full attention to every patient. I have said many times to them and others, “I feel that I am their only patient when they are with me.”
During the holidays or any day, we are fortunate to receive the kind and courteous treatment from Life Care of North Charleston.
Wilson Cemetery Road
As I go through my daily routines, I can’t help wondering if we, as a society, might be more productive if we went back to the old way of having a phone at home, mounted on the kitchen wall or, where I grew up, on a little stand in the hallway.
These days, it’s hard to find anyone doing anything without a phone in their hand, in their ear or in their back pocket.
The landscaper, the auto mechanic, the plumber, the dog walker, the grocery shopper, the driver. You name it, and whatever people are doing, they’re generally doing it while talking to someone else.
The wife may be busy in the kitchen, the hubby outside at the grill, the kids by the pool. You’d think people were getting paid to talk on the phone, and they’re just killing time working, staying busy while they’re doing it.
CARL E. SMITH
Sea Lavender Lane