Holocaust survivors ask that history remember their stories. Today, we remember the remarkable life of Yehuda Nir, a psychiatrist and Jewish man who, as a child, escaped certain murder by the Nazis. Nir died on Saturday in his Manhattan home at 84 years old.
He pretended to be a Catholic in German-occupied Poland. His Jewish identity was almost revealed when he asked a woman what day Christmas was on that year. She figured he was not a Catholic. He told her he would expose her affair, if she told the truth about his identity. He had no idea she was having an affair, but she was. She never spoke a word.
Nir, his mother and older sister eventually made their way to Palestine. He came to the United States in 1959 for medical residencies.
As a psychiatrist, Nir brought healing to others who suffered trauma, children and Holocaust survivors as well as their children. Nir served as a chief of child psychiatry at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for seven years (1979 to 1986).
As survivors of the Holocaust die, we must continue to listen to their stories - and live their lessons of courage, of reverence for life.
Today, we remember Yehuda Nir.
(S-R archive photo)