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Survivor, WWII Vet Share Real Holocaust Stories

SCRANTON — Several survivors of the Holocaust talked with high schoolers on Wednesday during a symposium in Scranton. The students learn about the Holocau...

SCRANTON -- Several survivors of the Holocaust talked with high schoolers on Wednesday during a symposium in Scranton.

The students learn about the Holocaust in textbooks that teach about World War II, but nothing has more impact than to hear the stories in person.

They stood on the same ground in Austria about 70 years ago, two 'Jewish kids' as they called themselves, but from very different worlds.

"He was in the camp that my outfit liberated."

It was in Scranton that Holocaust survivor Michael Herskovitz and World War II Army veteran Alan Moskin discovered they had that special connection.

"I met Mike a couple years ago and we started talking, you know? I said, 'I liberated.' 'You liberated that camp?' 'Oh, my God! I was in that camp!' You know, it gets very emotional," said Moskin.

"It's a good feeling, but still the things come out," said Holocaust survivor Michael Herskovitz. "With him, my wife was crying. It's a good feeling. It's a good feeling to be here."

Every year since then, the two have returned to Scranton to speak to high school students at the annual teen symposium on the Holocaust held by the Jewish Federation of Northeast Pennsylvania.

The students broke up into groups and rotated through different rooms at the Hilton Scranton and Conference Center. They listened to 16 different speakers who all had different experiences during the Holocaust and World War II.

Though the speakers have dedicated their later years to talking about their worst years under the Nazi regime, they like to focus on the positives, like this friendship born out of a time marked by hate.

"It was more than just liberating Mike and all the other people that survived the hell and the horror, the camp. Unless you saw it, you can't believe it. It's like trying to describe the indescribable," Moskin said.

"I'm one of the lucky ones, one of the lucky ones, out of the millions that died, millions," added Herskovitz.

And lucky to keep telling their stories.