Irving Roth: Holocaust Survivor

Grace Brosnan, Staff Writer

Morality is morality. We belong to ourselves. We are unique in our own ways. We have flaws, imperfections, and faults. None of us are perfect or even close to it. We believe in our own morals and pursue them in our own ways. We should not be faulted for what we believe in. Being branded with the knowledge that what one person believes is more relevant than what another person believes is how our society fails in reality. I had the pleasure of meeting and listening to a Holocaust survivor who taught me how his childhood was affected by the branding of different morals.

Irving Roth is a sweet man who sadly grew up thinking that what he believed in was wrong and that he was the cause of his beloved country’s destruction. As Irving was telling his story, my heart broke in a million different pieces. His story was extremely powerful in a way that made me look at life with a new perspective. A student in the audience asked how Irving kept his desire to survive throughout his time in Auschwitz. His answer was most forthcoming and extremely insightful. With no hesitation, he responded that it was his love of life. In the darkest of places, the gift of life was a beacon of hope for all of the prisoners in Auschwitz. Wanting to be able to eventually leave Auschwitz and have a life of their own was their motivation to have a somewhat optimistic view of where they were and to keep going. “Listening to Irving Roth tell his terrible tale really inspired me to live life to its fullest. We truly only live once and I want to live it fully,” says FHS student Jacqueline Hilbert, who also got to experience Roth’s inspiring story. Irving Roth continues every day to educate students around the world of his story and how to prevent this terrible act in history from repeating itself. “We were lucky that this incredible man took an hour or two out of his life to tell us his story. It was extremely insightful and interesting to hear him speak for his family and beliefs,” says student Skylin Garcia, who was also inspired by Irving Roth’s story.

Irving Roth is one of the most inspirational people I have ever met. Tapping into his haunted past and making sure to educate the younger generation in what is morally right and wrong is an extremely courageous and influential thing to do. People should look to Mr. Roth as an inspirational figure and listen to his lessons. He has a lot to say and needs a bigger audience to say it to. We need to listen to Roth’s insight on life and live life to the fullest. You don’t know what will happen in ten minutes, an hour or even tomorrow. Life is a mystery that doesn’t need to be solved using one specific ideal. We should be puzzling the pieces of life together in our own way, using our own beliefs, while also accepting the beliefs of others.