Rubin Sztajer, a holocaust survivor, spoke to us last December (2018). He passed away on March 26, 2019. Rubin was an extraordinary man whose personal mission was to speak to as many kids as possible not just about the Holocaust but more importantly about perseverance and hope. His talk to us was the last one he gave.
Rubin Sztajer was born on February 28, 1926 in Klobuck, Poland. He was just 13 years old when World War II began in 1939. His family of eight was forced from their home into the Klobuck Ghetto when he was 14 years old. He and his family lived in a small room together for years and scavenged for food on a daily basis. On April 12, 1942, Rubin was taken away from his family and home at the age of 16, and sent to the Markstadt Concentration Camp. He would never see his parents, younger brother and two youngest sisters again. At the time of liberation in 1945, he was 19 years old and was found unconscious by his sister who, miraculously, was also an inmate at Bergen-Belson. It took him three years of treatment to recover his health.
Rubin lived in Maryland since immigrating here in May of 1949 until he relocated to Virginia a couple years ago to be closer to family. He retired at age 70 and has taken classes at Towson University, played golf, exercises and enjoys his family. He’s been married over 65 years to his wife Regina, has three grown children, seven grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
Mr. Sztajer message to the students was to look out for each other and to accept no limitations. He reminded them that if he started out on his own in this country with no family, no friends, no money, not speaking English, with ill health etc. then they had the power to create success for themselves too and he was confident that they could do it.