Talk Title: Auschwitz, Auschwitz I Cannot Forget You... As Long As I Remain Alive
On November 27th, with his daughter, Michelle, by his side, local resident and author Max Rodrigues Garcia shared his remarkable story about the loss of his family and his survival of the Holocaust to a packed, rapt audience. He was born in Amsterdam in 1924.
Before the war, he hoped that the Germans would bypass Holland as they had during WWI. But he was wrong: Hitler invaded Holland on May 10, 1940. After many narrow escapes, Max was put on a train to a death camp. His talk described events also recorded in the book, Auschwitz, Auschwitz… I Cannot Forget You, As Long as I Remain Alive, about surviving multiple camps, week-long death marches in 6-feet of snow, eleven-day train rides without food or water, and other harrowing events. After the war, Max’s accomplishments include serving in the US Counter Intelligence Corps that ferreted out the SS, seeing General George S. Patton in person, having a family, and establishing a successful architecture practice in San Francisco.
Max continues to inspire people with his retellings and his living example. “As one of those who liberated that camp, I highly recommend the reading of this book” noted Bob Persinger, the sergeant in the first tank that entered the concentration camp. Ebensee Helmut Edelmayr, a board member of the Austrian Camp Community Mauthausen, praises Max for assisting “the local people in towns where concentration camps had existed in getting a better understanding of what democracy is all about.” A teacher in Austria, who asked Max to talk her classes, calls the book “a most important and touching testimony for the younger generation to live and learn from.” Max spoke with candor, humor, and optimism that was powerful to behold.