Second generation Holocaust survivor fears world forgets lessons

This International Holocaust Remembrance Day, attend an event in Duval County to educate the community and tell the stories of survivors.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – “It can always happen again” is the message of a Holocaust survivor’s daughter as she shares her story on World Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Several events will be held this weekend in Duval County to educate and share stories. At LJD Jewish Family and Community Services on Friday, visit an exhibit of a cattle car that was used to transport people to concentration camps. Then on Saturday, go to a free screening of a documentary about second-generation Holocaust survivors, where you’ll hear the story of one Ponte Vedra woman, Lisa Landwirt Ullman, and her family.

“He was amazing, very flexible,” Ullman said of his father, Henry Ullman. He always said he was living on borrowed time.

Ullmann wouldn’t be sitting here on a couch in Ponte Vedra if it weren’t for his father, who survived the Holocaust.

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“My father moved to five other concentration camps,” Ullman said. And somehow he survived.

Landwirth lived to be 91 years old, but from the age of 13 to 18, his life was filled with terror.

“He was 13, so he was bar mitzvahed in the ghetto in a secret hideout,” Ullman said. Besides my father and his twin sister, most of my family members were murdered by the Nazis.

Ullmann says his father died late in the war when German soldiers he and two others were marching through the woods decided to let them escape rather than kill them. Now Olman is here to tell the story of his family.

“The reason I’m continuing to tell the story is because we have to be cautious about what can happen and we have to continue to fight hate in this country and around the world,” he said. “It can always happen again.”

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He says that people seem to forget. His documentary with other second-generation Holocaust survivors comes two weeks after the public display of anti-Semitism in Jacksonville.

“I think in a lot of schools here in Jacksonville, they’re very sensitive about what they can teach and what they can’t,” Ullman said.

He fights with his family story. Landwirth later devoted her life to helping those in need, including a foundation named after her mother, who was killed in the Holocaust, and a nonprofit in central Florida to send needy children and their families on week-long vacations.

“He was able to take this terrible experience in his childhood to do so many amazing things,” Ullmann says. “I think there’s a sense of resilience and I just admire the way he lived his life and how he always saw the glass half full and I hope I live my life that way.”

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The documentary featuring Ullmann is called TRACES, Voices of the Second Generation, and will be followed by a question-and-answer session at the 7:30 p.m. screening in the Wilson Center for the Arts at FSCJ on Beach Blvd. This event is free, but you need to RSVP, which you can do here.

On Friday you can visit the Frisch Family Holocaust Memorial Gallery at LJD Jewish Family and Community Services from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm at 8540 Baycenter Road in Jacksonville. The Cow Car exhibit is called “Cow Car: Step In and Out of Darkness” and free tours are held. The exhibition, which will be on display until 5:00 p.m., is called “Art in the Holocaust.”


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