The second time I spoke to my survivor named John, he brought in pictures of himself from when he was a teenager in Budapest and his passport. It was very interesting to see that in his passport all of his jobs were documented and signed by his employer. Where he worked and when we worked at the job is also documented. It was amazing to see how Hungary would keep control of its people. I spoke to my survivor about his education as child during this session. He told me that in Hungary twelve grades of education was mandatory. He also told me how he went to a Jewish school before the war started. However, after the war, he went to a Catholic school where he associated with non-Jews. The reason he want to a Catholic school after the war started is because of all the anti-Semitism present during the War. John’s father’s sister in law persuaded him to get an education and play the piano. John ended up becoming a very successful electrical engineer.

 My survivor then explained to me how he left for the U.S. after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and after he went into hiding and was captured by the Russian soldiers. He told me he would speak to me about the capturing in more detail in the next session. During this session, he told me about the Hungarian Revolution and its rise. On October 3, 1956, a group of students marched, protested, and went to the radio stations to disseminate their message to all of the people in Hungary. This Revolution was against the Stalinist government of Hungary. The Revolution only lasted from Oct. 3, 1956 to Nov. 10, 1956. My survivor also explained to me how he was part of the Revolution and helped bring down Communism. He explained that the police joined him and other students and gave them weapons to help fight the Soviet Union. The students were fighting for free institution, for freedom of speech, for equality, and to break away from the U.S.S.R. I find it very interesting that John had to deal with so much during his life time and was finally able to succeed. When he left Budapest in 1956, he came to the U.S. to study electrical engineering. John went to a school in New York and later moved to Los Angeles to work.

John went through a lot in his life from hiding from the Nazis in his apartment, to going into hiding in order to not go to the concentration camps, to being captured by the Russian soldiers, to being part of the Revolution, and finally, to coming to the U.S.A. to start a dream he has accomplished which was to get an education, get married, and raise a family. I look up to John and hope I will have the courage and strength one day to endure such harsh realities if ever presented with any as I grow and continue my life and education to become a successful lawyer. I see John not only as a Holocaust survivor, but also as a mentor to all of us who have never experienced what he has. I personally have grown to consider John a mentor of my own where I can ask him for advice in regards to any issue I have. I hope to keep in touch with John even after this course ends.

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