Stephan Black took to Twitter to tell an incredible story of his grandfather, Murray Goldfinger, who is a Holocaust survivor. Black hoped that sharing the story would help to pass on a message of acceptance.
The series of tweets has gone viral. With 53,000 retweets and over 150,000 likes, it looks like that message is hitting its mark.
Read the whole thread. We promise you'll be glad you did.
This is my grandfather, Murray Goldfinger. The tattoo, 161108, was given to him at Birkenau.— Stephen Black (@stephenablack) April 12, 2018
He's 91 and his health is failing. He told his tale of survival for 65 years. Now, I've taken the responsibility.
One part of his story always gets a big reaction from students. pic.twitter.com/SO5QrPWwkl
January 1945. Murray (born Monek) was on The Death March west from Birkenau as Russian soldiers advanced from the east.— Stephen Black (@stephenablack) April 12, 2018
He was tired, cold, and hungry. He saw something in the air, descending towards him.
It hit him in the chest, and he caught it.
A 2-lb piece of roast beef. pic.twitter.com/FvIfLnQz1n
Monek was shocked. He looked around. Nobody had noticed, so he stuffed it under his shirt.— Stephen Black (@stephenablack) April 12, 2018
Over the next two days, he tore small pieces and ate them on the sly.
When I told the story to a group of eighth graders today, they all laughed.
"Was it a gift from Heaven?" I asked.
The reality is bleaker.— Stephen Black (@stephenablack) April 12, 2018
The Nazis rode in tanks and jeeps alongside the march. One probably thought it'd be funny to toss the food into the crowd and watch the Jews fight over it.
It wouldn't have been the first time Monek witnessed Nazis take pleasure in torturing the Jews.
It didn't work out that way. The marchers were too fatigued, many dying along the way.— Stephen Black (@stephenablack) April 12, 2018
Monek was lucky. The roast beef's trajectory led straight to him.
I can trace my own existence back to that piece of meat, which sustained Monek and gave him the energy to keep going.
His entire family including 8 siblings perished. Monek survived.— Stephen Black (@stephenablack) April 12, 2018
On April 11th, 1945, he was liberated from Buchenwald. We celebrate the date as a birthday, or Rebirth Day.
The path from ghettos to labor camps to concentration camps lasted 6 years, but it began before that. pic.twitter.com/lHbsj78ckv
It began with leaders who had an insidious agenda. They understood the people needed a scapegoat, a group of "others," an outlet for fear and hatred.— Stephen Black (@stephenablack) April 12, 2018
They chipped away at the Jews' humanity piece by piece until they became numbers then ashes. Much of the world stood idly by. pic.twitter.com/tDTWujdkPU
I will not stand by as people in our nation are targeted for their "otherness."— Stephen Black (@stephenablack) April 12, 2018
I am inspired by the younger generation's activism as they say #NeverAgain to needless death.
Monek was compelled to tell his story to show the darkness we're capable of when hatred goes unchecked. pic.twitter.com/ygZqmWAOBW
I will continue to tell his story because I know the fight is ongoing.— Stephen Black (@stephenablack) April 12, 2018
It's a fight to prevent history from repeating but also to ensure that all human life is valued equally, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexuality, or ability.#HolocaustRemembranceDay #NeverAgain pic.twitter.com/kjtZaq9O2j
The story touched the hearts of many.
Thank you for sharing his story and keeping the memory alive.— Mayken Brünings 🏊 (@MaykenAlanna) April 14, 2018
This is such a beautiful thread. Thanks for posting it. Hearing how your grandfather rebuilt his life after undergoing such horrors, is just utterly soul lifting.— Seven Of Nine (@7sevenOf9Nine) April 13, 2018
I’m a high school World History teacher in a small town in Michigan. I don’t know where you live but I wonder if you might be open to a Skype or distance learning session next year? I would love to get my students exposure to a survivor.— Jennifer Wyant (@jennifer_wyant) April 14, 2018
Thank you for continuing to tell grandfather’s story. Where hatred can lead we must never forget. X— Bernie Coombe (@Bernacoombe) April 14, 2018
After the thread went viral, Black popped back in to share his grandfather's response.
*UPDATE*— Stephen Black (@stephenablack) April 14, 2018
I'm incredibly moved by the response to this thread, as well as the amount of people sharing it. I just got off the phone with my grandfather, or "Poppy" as we call him, and he was in tears when I told him how many positive responses his story is receiving.