Montrealer Ted Bolgar remembers Auschwitz, 68 years later
Published Sunday, January 27, 2013 6:39PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, January 27, 2013 6:40PM EST
MONTREAL—It's remembered as one of the greatest horrors of the Second World War.
Over one million people died at Auschwitz, 90 per cent of them were Jewish—68 years ago this Sunday, the Soviet army liberated the camp.
Only a few thousand survived, 88-year-old Montrealer Ted Bolgar is one of them. He remembers arriving by train to the camp.
“They separated the men from the women, five of us we were going to the end of the platform where there were a few SS officers. One of them in a white coat and as you arrived they just waved right or left,” remember Bolgar.
He and his father were forced into labour camps, his mother and sister weren't as lucky.
“When they went into the shower room instead of water gas came.”
Bolgar was only at Auschwitz for a few days. He was sent to Warsaw along with other inmates to clean up the remnants of the Jewish ghetto—something that may have saved his life.
“It was 95 per cent luck, and 5 per cent I'm still looking for.”
Starving and near death he was set free by US soldiers.
“When I was liberated I hated the whole world,” said Bolgar.
Hate from what was done and what he says the world allowed to happen. Now, Bolgar has opted for hope. He came to Canada, started a family and tells young people his story.
For the past 12 years, he's participated in the "March of the Living," visiting Auschwitz hoping future generations will learn from his painful past.
“When your turn will come to run this world maybe you'll be smart enough to live in peace.”
Now, 68 years later and the survivor’s story is one to remember so no one will have to live it again.