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Holocaust survivor holds great-grandchild in powerful photo: "It's my history & future linked"

The Holocaust tried to erase the existence of millions of lives. Defying the odds, this family has created a lineage. And that is power.

Holocaust survivor holds great-grandchild in powerful photo: "It's my history & future linked"
Image Source: Auschwitz Liberation 75th Anniversary Nears. BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 24. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

As the world celebrated the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Jewish concentration camp Auschwitz, this powerful went viral on the internet. Jessica Glatt, the granddaughter of two Holocaust survivors, took to Facebook to share a photo of her grandfather holding her baby, displaying the impossibility of both her and her child's existences. For Holocaust survivors, thinking about living long enough to see their granddaughter grow up is unimaginable enough. So to hold their great-grandchild is an even greater feat. To commemorate the moment, Jessica snapped a bittersweet photo of her daughter Harli holding on to her grandfather's arm, which still had the tattoo from the concentration camp imprinted on his skin, reports.




Glatt’s grandfather, Max Durst, survived several concentration camps throughout his lifetime, including Auschwitz and Ebensee. It was in the latter camp that he was finally liberated after enduring unmentionable torture. He was his immediate family's sole survivor. Her grandmother, Anna Durst, was also her immediate family's sole survivor. She spent most of the war hiding from Nazi forces under immensely dangerous conditions. It was nothing short of an absolute miracle that led the pair to each other. The couple went on to have a beautiful family, eventually welcoming Glatt into their lives, yet another miracle.




When little Harli was born, what should have been just another happy occasion, marked something far more amazing. Despite all the odds, the family had gone on to create a lineage even though the grandparents were condemned to nothingness. Glatt wrote in a touching blog post, "For us, the horrors of the Holocaust will never be erased. But some days, like today, it is reassuring to know that, as their granddaughter, I am born of such strength and resolve, as are my three children." After she posted the photo on her Facebook page, it quickly went viral. The photo has since received over 11,000 likes.




Glatt wasn't too sure about how her grandparents would react as they so rarely spoke about the Holocaust around her, but they were moved. "They were so very moved by people's reactions and were simply incredulous that the photo would evoke such a positive response and from the sheer number of people!" She said. "The fact that all of the wonderful comments and likes were coming in from people of all different religions and ethnicities made it even more touching for them. After I gave my grandparents a quick lesson on how to use Facebook, they were able to scroll through the comments themselves from their home computer. My grandmother told me that she had tears in her eyes as she and my grandfather read through the comments until they couldn't stay awake any longer."




Though she originally posted the powerful photo as a way to honor Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah), she realized the photo transgresses a single day of remembrance. She wrote on her blog, "Just a few short days ago, I said that I did not know where or how to display this photograph. But, as fate would have it, it seems like it’s found the perfect home after all. Right here, for all to see, in perpetuity. It is beautiful. It is painful. It is my history and my future inextricably linked. L’dor V’dor. Always remember."



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