'Be Nice To Each Other': Broward Holocaust Survivor And Educator Turns 100
Julius Eisenstein looks great for having just turned 100 years old.
He walked into his second birthday party on Thursday morning waving to a clapping crowd at Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward County.
Eisenstein, who lives in Hallandale Beach, is one of Broward County's most outspoken Holocaust survivors.
He has overcome a lot in his lifetime to make it to this moment: He was a teenager when the Germans came into his hometown in Poland and separated him from his family. He survived the Holocaust working in several concentration camps, including Auschwitz in Poland and Dachau in Germany. He was liberated by American troops in late April of 1945.
All of this, Eisenstein said, should never be allowed to be repeated.
"I never thought of surviving to begin with," he said. "But I am gonna talk about it until the last breath in my body because I don't want you to go through that, what I went through."
He was honored by case managers and staff at Goodman JFS of Broward County, which provides care for Holocaust survivors as they age. South Florida is home to one of the country's largest groups of survivors of the Nazi regime's massive campaign to exterminate people of Jewish descent.
"I think that it's important to show the strength and resiliency of people like Julius, who have survived the utmost of human cruelty and have gone on to make it their mission in life to teach the next generation about hope," said Jo Ann Arnowitz, chief program officer at Goodman JFS and vice president of grant management.
While Eisenstein ate a combination of chocolate and vanilla cake with green frosting, his girlfriend Sally Dauman, also a survivor of the Holocaust, was by his side.
Eisenstein has stayed active. He's kept up with his passion for volunteering and sharing his story. He still visits classrooms, talks to students, and participates in events at the Holocaust Documentation & Education Center in Dania Beach, (that was where his first birthday party was on Sunday.)
In fact, this time last year, Eisenstein's life story was a part of an exhibit at the center called: Operation Finale: The Capture and Trial of Adolf Eichmann. The Nazi official orchestrated much of the Holocaust, and was hanged in Israel in 1962.
Eisenstein said he has no plans to slow down when it comes to spreading his message of unity:
"People like me and Sally are not going to be around here much longer and there will be no more Holocaust survivors. Please...make sure that it does not happen ever, ever again to any human being," Eisenstein said. "I tell you, that I am here is a miracle. Be nice to each other. We all come from the same place and we all hope to do the best that we can as we're here."