171952. These are the six numbers that will not only stay in my mind but in the mind of my classmates. They are the numbers that Mr. Severin Fayerman had tattooed on his arm in the Auschwitz concentration camp when he was only 19.
On April 18th, eighth graders at Daniel Boone Middle School were able to meet Mr. Fayerman and listen to his remarkable life story.
Mr. Fayerman, who founded Baldwin Brass in Reading, is 91 and has more energy than some of my classmates. He has been coming to DBMS for several years talking about his experiences.
I think we were all eager to meet him -- after all we had heard about him from older students in the district. In his presentation, Mr. Fayerman told us about many of his memories from his life during World War II. The one that stood out in my mind was how he was reunited with his family after the war was over.
His mother, father, and uncle agreed before being separated that if they were to survive, that they would meet at his grandmotherís home in Austria. Mr. Fayerman arrived at his grandmotherís house and found that his entire family had lived -- which did not happen very often to families in the Holocaust.
All of the stories Mr. Fayerman told made me feel so fortunate about the freedom that we have in the United States. It is amazing how people can take that for granted so easily. Mr. Fayerman is definitely a man who is grateful for all of the freedom we are given here.
After all of the camps were liberated and the family was reunited, the Fayermans immigrated to the U.S. to start a new life. Mr. Fayerman says that coming to America and being able to start a successful company was the real American dream.
After his presentation we were able to take pictures with Mr. Fayerman and buy his memoir, A Survivorís Story. By the time we got home that day, Mr. Fayerman was all over social media websites, which was very cool to see.
I think that everyone was as moved by his presentation as I was. Iím so glad that I was able to hear his story and meet Mr. Fayerman. It has made me not sweat the small stuff that teenagers face as much. We might complain about having too much work for school, but when Mr. Fayerman was a teenager, I bet he did not complain about not having enough food in the concentration camps; he just faced it head-on and fought through it without much help.
I truly admire Mr. Fayermanís positive outlook on life after all that he went through and how he is able to talk about it to students like myself.
Thank you, Mr. Fayerman, for being such an inspiration to me and taking time out of your day to talk to our eighth-grade class about your experiences.