(CBS) — We’ve seen the images, but can we really imagine what it was like for millions of Jews and others — to be torn from their homes, their families, their very lives, by the Nazis?
“The history of the Holocaust can only really be understood by hearing testimonies of survivors,” says Ralph Reybock.READ MORE: Man Arrested In Lincoln Square Burglary
He directs the Generation to Generation Program at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie.
“G to G,” as it’s known, partners survivors like Ralph with young people who hear those testimonies and pass them so that they won’t be forgotten.
Eighty-four-year-old Fritzie Fritzshall is a survivor. Her partners are the entire Goodman family of Deerfield. Fritzie and mom Andrea became the program’s first “pair” almost 10 years ago.
“I think there was an instant connection,” Fritzie says.
Andrea says it’s “crucial” that her children learn Fritzie’s story.
“They get to understand a depth and level of true heroism from a woman who exemplifies strength,” she says.READ MORE: 2 CPD Officers, Woman Taken To Hospital After Hit-And-Run
The stories are not always easy to hear. Fritzie’s family was taken to Auschwitz.
“I was in one of those boxcars you see in the movies,” she says. “By the time the doors opened, most of the people in our compartment were dead.”
Fritzie says she uses discretion in deciding how much detail to go into, when talking with young people about details.
“I take into consideration the age of the children,” she says.
The Goodman kids say seeing the holocaust through Fritzie’s eyes has changed their lives.
“Through the program, we survivors are going to live on because our story is going to be told,” Fritzie says.MORE NEWS: Judge Bars Chicago Police Union President John Catanzara From Encouraging Officers To Defy City's Vaccine Mandate
Even after everything she has been through, she still calls herself “lucky.”