At a school in Multyfarnham, Ireland, Tomi Reichental, 79, told the students of his boyhood in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
He described seeing his grandmother’s body being thrown onto a cart overloaded with other corpses. He was only 9 years old.
For nearly 60 years, he never spoke about his experiences. Now, “I owe it to the victims that their memory is not forgotten,” he said.
“It’s not that I didn’t want to speak about it before. It’s just that I couldn’t. There are thousands like me; I believe it is nature’s way of allowing people to deal with things.”
Now he travels twice a week to tell his story so younger generations will know what happened to him and to millions of others. He is fully booked for the rest of 2015.
He was rounded up by the Gestapo in Bratislava, now the capital of Slovakia, in October 1944. Forced into a cattle car on a freezing November day, he believes the train was diverted to Bergen-Belsen only because the Nazis had been forced to destroy the crematories in Auschwitz and Birkenau that very week ahead of a Soviet advance. “A few days earlier I wouldn’t be here now.” Read more here.