Jewish Federation Diversity Program held Tuesday

Jewish Federation Diversity Program held Tuesday

SWANTON, OH (WTOL) - According to the Anti-defamation League's latest data, the number of anti-Semitic incidents jumped 60 percent from 2016 to 2017.

This news comes on a day when nearly 800 high school students from around northwest Ohio heard the moving life story of one Holocaust survivor.

It has been decades since Irene Miller, Holocaust survivor and author, was a teenager. At that time, the world was at war, much of her family killed by Nazi Germany.

Her greatest concern was how she was going to feed her hunger. Something those high school students are lucky enough to never experience.

"How so hungry they were and they had to ration food and stuff," Swanton High School junior Zaven Waddall said. "Knowing me, I couldn't go a day without eating a meal."

However, Miller says there are parallels between what she faced being held by German Nazis and what these students see in the world around them.

"I tell them yes, and I am scared because I see possibility of totalitarian regimes occurring any place unless we learn how to prevent it," Miller said.

The Holocaust survivor says one way to prevent history repeating itself is to tell the stories of those who have lived it.

"Like she said, history can repeat itself so it's up to us to make sure it doesn't happen again," Miller explained. "Make sure that one group is not segregated from the rest of the world."

Miller told the 800 plus students two important things, all people have good in their hearts and that those students will have a voice, too, in the coming elections. This is where their influence will matter.

"There are people in the world who are giving their life for the right to vote," Miller said. "Voting is a great privilege but with it is a great responsibility."

The responsibility to elect someone who reflects their values and be able to recognize what Miller calls the seeds of horrors around them.

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