Holocaust Survivor Speaks to WTAMU Students, Community

Jaci Wagner, Reporter

Irving Roth, Holocaust survivor, spoke to the students and community of West Texas A&M University on Feb. 2.

Roth was born in 1929 in Kosice, Czechoslovakia. He shared about his childhood in Humenne and about the life he lived before the year of 1939. Then, he told about his experiences during the Holocaust that occurred during 1940 to 1945 as well as about his memories following the Holocaust.

The student body and community learned about how the hardships that the Jews faced through the experiences of Roth, who was a 10-year-old child during the time of the Holocaust. At this point in his life, Roth was known as the number 81079 and belonged to the Germans following Germany’s invasion of Western Czechoslovakia.

Roth and 4,000 other men marched for three days and three nights in cattle cars.

“I am undressed and shamed as we all stand in line until one in the morning…” Roth said. “We are now property of the German government.”

Amarillo resident Joe Wood said he thought Roth gave a “fabulous presentation.” He said that remembering the consequences is important because “the great danger is that history would repeat itself.”

“Tonight was a great privilege to listen to him and try to remember the events of that time and what brought it on,” Wood said. “We must recognize that all mankind is capable of these atrocities with a dictator and when people develop a great hatred themselves.”

Sandy Wood enjoyed Roth’s points about supporting Israel. She said she and her husband have always been pro-Israel but realize that many people no longer feel that way or never did.

“The amount of people that showed up for the presentation given by Mr. Roth was really comforting to see that there are still people around that truly believe that Israel is God’s country,” Wood said.