Holocaust survivor Alberto Israël gave testimony of his experiences at Auschwitz for the last time before his retirement.
1800 secondary school students from the city of Charleroi in Wallonia were present to listen to Alberto Israël.
The emotion was great among the young people who learned thanks to his first-hand testimony, of the horrors of the Shoah.
“Touched, moved, grateful,” these are the words they used after the testimony of the Auschwitz survivor.
“I knew what happened, I knew it was bad. But not to this extent, so touching, so serious,” confided one student who was present.
At the end of the exchange, the audience stood up in applause for Alberto Israël for a long time. “I don’t care about medals, honours. I have never accepted a euro to testify. I do it because I have lived through what I have lived through and young people need to know.
Alberto Israël was 17 years old when, with his family, he arrived with his parents and two brothers in the Auschwitz extermination camp on 18 July 1944. He was the only one to escape alive.
“When I know that I am going to speak to young people, that I am going to testify, I don’t sleep for two or three days beforehand. I’m tired of taking painkillers. Even today, my wife wakes me up because in my sleep I shout in German, I have nightmares. But we have to talk, we have to explain what happened.”
After talking to young people all over the world, Alberto Israël has decided to retire at the age of 95.