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Holocaust Survivor Rose Sherman Williams On The Horror Of Hate And Power Of Forgiveness

Rose Sherman Williams, 90, in the Texas Public Radio studios on August 1, 2017.

What was it like to experience the Holocaust?

Rose Sherman Williams was only 12 years old when Nazi Germany occupied Poland in 1939.
The Sherman family – including Rose, her three siblings, parents and grandmother – had no choice but to live in close quarters with no heat or water. As the ghetto they lived in was being liquidated, Rose became separated from her family after an assault on the street. 

"The time was already 6th of August, 1942. By the time I was awakened, all my family – about 60 people –were all gone, plus my three siblings" she said. "I was sent to an ammunition factory in Poland and continuously cried." 

Sherman Williams was ordered to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where she was branded with a tattoo and was then forced to march to Bergan-Belsen before being liberated by British soldiers in 1945.

Now 90 years old, Rose Sherman Williams shares her experiences with hate and terror, the power of resiliency and her journey to forgiveness.

"Through the years, I must have spoken to thousands and thousands of children, giving them hope and telling them not to give up on themselves," Sherman Williams said.

This is a community conversation and we want to hear from you. Leave a voicemail with your questions and comments in advance by calling 210-615-8982. During the live show (12 - 1 p.m.), call 210-614-8980, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet at @TPRSource.

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Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.