Livingston Holocaust survivor aims to educate others through his story

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A Holocaust survivor in Livingston made it his mission to educate about his experience.

Mark Schonwetter says he came close to death as a child as Nazis rounded up Jewish people in his small town in Poland in the late 1930s. He says he his mother and younger sister hid wherever a kind soul would allow them to stay.

“We were hiding in the forest constantly from one place to another, finding places in the bushes, sleeping of course on the ground,” he says.

Schonwetter says there were about 250 Jewish people from his area captured and killed by the Nazis, including his father.

The 88-year-old Livingston resident and his daughters, Ann Arnold and Isabella Fiske, started the Mark Schonwetter Holocaust Education Foundation so he could share his story and push for Holocaust education in communities around the country.

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"I try to teach the children that you have a voice. You have to stand up. And one voice is powerful,” says Arnold.

The family visited the village where Schonwetter lived as a child 11 years ago, and they say it was life changing.

"The village embraced us that it really changed our lives forever,” says Fiske. “We'd been cynical up to then thinking the world wasn't such a great place."

Schonwetter says telling is story is the best way to prevent another atrocity like the Holocaust from happening again.

Holocaust Remembrance Day was observed Monday on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

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