CHANDLER, Ariz - The incredibly hard and moving lessons of the Holocaust were on display recently at Chandler- Gilbert Community College as part of an annual Holocaust commemoration series put on by the City of Chandler and the East Valley Jewish Community Center.
The centerpiece was a 33-foot long, 1940's rail car that carried Holocaust victims to Nazi labor and death camps. George Kalman, 81, shared his survival story with students as they squeezed into the cramped, wooden car.
Kalman recalls the Germans cramming as many as 80 detainees in the same car for the trip to one of the Nazi labor or death camps. Unfortunately, he says, he had to make two trips to German camps in the suffocating cars.
A collection of audio and visual panels produced by the East Valley Jewish Community Center also gave students lessons of tolerance and forgiveness from three other survivors throughout the remainder of the exhibit.
"Until you see this and you see what it was about and even talk to a survivor you don't understand the gravity," CGCC student, Cary Mckinney said after going through the exhibit.
Another student, Kamryn Curtis, was impressed with the level of peace and solitude Kalman has managed to achieve after such a desperate start to his life.
"He survived and he was smiling at everyone--he was still positive about his life," Curtis said. "It's great to know that there are hopeful people out there."
For information on George Kalman's latest talk at CGCC go to cgc.edu/evjcc.