Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The internet gives hope to holocaust survivors

I was moved by something I read on the Boston Globe website today. In an AP article by Aron Heller, Holocaust survivor Hilda Shlick, who thought she lost all of her family in WWII, was reunited with her 81 year old brother in Canada, all because her two grandsons have good internet skills.

This story amazes me because I know a few holocaust survivors who can’t operate a cell phone let alone figure out how to email or surf the web. It makes me think about the ways this generation can help other generations reconnect with a society seemingly lost in web space. This use of internet connection is one of the most positive kinds I have seen thus far. Sure, we can track down sex offenders in our neighborhoods and explore our innate paranoia through a different form of internet stalking, but we also have the chance to do good for others.

Although Holocaust survivors are a dying generation, they will live on through the Yad Vashem database on which Shlick’s grandchildren found her brother. Heller said, “They logged onto the Yad Vashem website and found a page of testimony submitted in 1999 by her brother Karol, of Montreal, who wrote about his sister Hilda, who ``perished in the Shoah."

I hope when I get old and out of touch with reality, my grandchildren will reconnect me with the things I love through whatever means possible.

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