During the Holocaust, six million people lost their lives. Even though it happened over 70 years ago, it still impacts the people who lived through it and those who are touched by the messages shared by survivors. We are honored to host Conrad Weiner via Zoom to speak about his experiences as a small child in a labor camp. Conrad’s story is one you won’t soon forget.
Conrad was born in Storojinetz, a small town in Bucovina, once part of Romania (currently part of Ukraine) in 1938. After a brief occupation of the region by the Soviet Army in 1941, Romanian authorities, in alliance with German forces, started a massive campaign of annihilation and deportation of Jews to Transnistria. They were taken by cattle car, a journey of two days and one night, and then forced to walk for two weeks in snow and mud to the forced labor camp, Budi. Conrad was 3 1/2 years old at the time. While in Budi, Conrad fell very ill. Many of the prisoners advised his mother to give up. Her response was that a mother does not give up on her child. Eventually, he was nursed back to health and in 1944, at the age of six, Conrad and the 300 surviving prisoners at Budi were liberated by the advancing Soviet Army and repatriated to Romania. In 1946, Romania became a Communist country. But that’s not where Conrad’s story ends.
It wasn’t until July 1960 that the paperwork was approved, and Conrad’s family was able to come to America. Conrad was drafted into the U.S. Army and eventually settled in Cincinnati in 1963. He graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in German and Russian Language and Literature. In 1968, he obtained a M.B.A. from the University of Cincinnati on a full-ride scholarship. Conrad is now retired and keeps busy playing golf, reading, taking photographs, and speaking to local schools and organizations about his Holocaust experience. He is married to his wife of over 50 years and is both a proud father and grandfather.
Conrad is committed to educating the community about the Holocaust, his experience and the lessons, despite the difficulty of sometimes recounting it. “It must be done to keep our promise, ‘Never Again,” he states. “We must learn from history in order to not repeat it. We see many examples of intolerance every day. It is unfortunate that today, in the 21st century, we still have wars, ethnic cleansing, poverty and hunger. Education and dialogue are key elements in sharing the world in peace and harmony. I believe that adversity, if it does not kill you, makes you stronger.”
Please register no later than noon on April 8. The Zoom link will be emailed to registrants prior to the event.