Episode 3 – Resilience Personified, Part 2
Against all odds, a child Holocaust survivor finds his way to freedom and MIT. Part 2 continues with life under communism, a daring escape, and improbable journey to the Institute.
Guest: Robert Ratonyi, MIT Class of ’63, SM ’64, Course 2, Sigma Alpha Mu, Graduate House, and Westgate.
Learn more about Bob’s incredible journey in his moving book From Darkness into Light: My Journey Through Nazism, Fascism, and Communism to Freedom.
Copyright 2021 Institrve
Host: In Part One, we covered Bob Ratonyi’s traumatic Holocaust experiences. Part Two is like watching a beautiful sunrise, complete darkness gives way to a glimmer of hope, transforming into a blaze of glory. This doesn’t imply, however, that the journey is easy.
I’m Ravi Patil and this is Institrve. True stories about MIT. A trove of wonder discovery, and madness. This podcast explores the diversity of the human experience. The question of what it means to be human is a timeless one. By hearing the stories of others, we just may find a piece of ourselves and be inspired to transcend our own limitations.
Under communism, Bob and his mother lived in poverty, struggling to make ends meet.
Bob: In our working class neighborhood, they built these two room apartments right on the dirt. And everybody had two rooms, a kitchen, and the other room, which was everything. No indoor plumbing.
So in order to get water, you had to go outside and on the wall, there was a faucet. To take a bath was a rather complex procedure because first of all, I had to go down to the cellar to get some kindling to heat up the kitchen stove and there was no electricity.
And then you had to take a big pot and go outside and get the water, heat it up, put it into the basin. The kitchen table and underneath it, there’s the basin. And then you could stand there and get some soap and sponge yourself and that’s how we lived for 18 years.
And I’ll never forget the fact that I later discovered. I was a teenager. We were on one side of this U-shaped building low on the first floor and on the second floor, there was a family of three or four teenage girls. And if they came out to the balcony, they could look inside our kitchen because the top end of the front door was glass. So the problem: I provide this entertainment to these teenagers when I took a bath in the kitchen but I had no idea about this!
Host: My goodness, you were on the receiving end of sexual harassment!
Bob: Sexual harassment. I don’t know could I move the basin? Because typically, I had the basin near the door to leave room for my mother to move around the kitchen.
And that’s how I grew up. I know what poverty is. Basically we lived on potatoes, bread, vegetables, and noodles, and maybe a couple of eggs. I was a vegetarian without knowing.
Host: You mentioned that you were never resentful about other kids who had more than you. Where did that come from?
Bob: No, I never, ever had a chip on my shoulder. I never felt like a victim, even though I lost my father. My mother almost died. I almost died. Many of our family had perished.
I just never felt as a victim. I felt like a survivor, that I was lucky and had this positive sense of feeling good about the future.
The remaining family that survived really was there. And my mother took care of it that I would go and visit all of my aunts on both sides of my family every other week or so. And they all loved me and they fed me. They knew that the way we lived because my mother had no skills and she became a manual laborer and lived paycheck to paycheck. And I just had this sense of being loved.
And my Uncle Laci, particularly, who is also a survivor. He was kind of the head of the family. He told me that I have to be very strong and I have to be very smart and I have to study and I have to become a decent man.
And he used to tell me, “Remember that you have to be both sensible and sensitive.” What he was trying to say is it’s not enough to be smart. You have to have a good heart and take care of other people and respect other people. So it was in my head because he repeated it so many times but I didn’t really understand it fully until much later in life.
I had a happy childhood. I knew a lot of people who were much better off. It just didn’t affect me. I knew then that my job is to make sure that I will have a better life and it’s up to me and not waiting for someone else to do it for me.
And this came from my uncle who taught me that the first thing you must have is self-respect. That you must be responsible for yourself. You can’t depend on others to do the things that you have to do for yourself. It’s your responsibility to delay gratification. Don’t get discouraged because you don’t have things that others have.
Host: It’s such a powerful lesson for all of us.
You were accepted into the technical university of Budapest. And then later on, you had to make a pivotal decision on whether to go to Moscow.
Bob: Yeah, because I was a good student. I had good grades and I met the criteria which meant I came from the proletarian. So if my parents were doctors or lawyers or educated, I wouldn’t have made it on the list because they wanted to have people who come from the working class.
The communist philosophy was that the bourgeois has to be gotten rid of, and of course, the propaganda is that it’s a classless system, it’s all BS. They had their own class system. If you were the inner party and in the secret police, particularly, then you were eligible for all the best things in the world.
And then there was the rest of us, the proletariat, the middle-class. We had nothing. You were told where to work. You were told where to live.
They asked me to go to Moscow because of my background and because of my grades. And I decided not to. By then, I guess I had enough common sense to understand.
How did I know this? We listened to Radio Free Europe. We listened to Voice of America and I would understand and begin to see that there’s a world out there that’s totally different than ours. I never experienced it, but I knew it was there.
Host: Many students in Bob’s cohort had become disillusioned. On October 23rd, 1956, several thousand of them, along with Bob, took to the streets with a 16 Point Proclamation, a list of national policy demands including the call for immediate withdrawal of all Soviet military, freedom of speech, and so forth.
This small group quickly gathered momentum and over 100,000 people joined the march. The Hungarian uprising ensued and in the interest of time, I’ll provide a quick summary as Bob was just peripherally involved.
The mob turned violent and both Russian soldiers and Hungarian civilians were killed. On October 28th, a ceasefire was issued and the Russian military began withdrawing their tanks.
This apparent victory was short-lived, however, as the Soviet army returned on November 4th and crushed the revolution with military force.
Nevertheless, the uprising left Bob hopeful about the future.
So you’ve lived under a communism for several years. You’re about 18 years old and the idea comes to you it’s time to leave.
Bob: Yes, and what prompted it is the fact that two of my friends left. I said, “I’d like to have some friend of mine join me.” And I went to see my buddy Bill Fodor. So I walked over to his place because we didn’t have telephones. And I told him that I liked to escape. “What do you think?” He immediately said, “Yes!” He hated his job and he just wanted to get away.
And so we got together one night and figured out a plan and picked the date, that was December 6th, just arbitrarily. Bill had a neighbor who had a pickup truck and he’s gonna take us to the railroad station and we can go to this big city near the border, and then we’ll take our luck, figure out a way to get to the border, and a way to get across.
Host: As you can see, the escape plan had no detail. What happened next can easily form the plot of an action thriller, except this really happened.
Bob: Of course, my mother couldn’t keep the secret. Instead of the two of us, another guy joined us. Some cousin of an uncle, which we thought it was OK.
And then my mother said, “Is it okay if Gabi’s mother and her eight year old son joined you?” At that point, I said, “What am I going to say, no?” And I knew my mother wanted me to say “yes.” So I said, “Okay, tell her show up here on December 6th, four o’clock.” So that was that.
And then somehow out of the blue, two young women showed up so that instead of the two of us, there were seven of us with one child and three young women.
And by that time, I was a little worried. I said, “My God, how is this going to work?” But there was no turning back. And again, pure luck, Bill and I were in junior league of a professional handball team that was sponsored by the locomotive association.
Bill and I played in the handball finals in this big city near the Austrian border. And so our plan was to get to that city and look up the train master who was at our match. This is all just dreaming. We couldn’t call him. We had no idea if he’s still alive or not.
Bill and I walked into the station and sure enough, they ushered us into his office and he remembered us. And we said, “How do we get across?” And he said, “I tell you what. You go to track number 10 or whatever. There are two cars sitting there. No engine, you guys go there, sit there and just wait. When it gets dark, an engine will show up and take you to the border.”
That’s all he could tell us. So we get onto this train and there are some families with children. And Bill and I are with just a briefcase. And we had a couple of bottles of Vodka and some carton of cigarettes to barter, one shirt, and then my toothbrush.
And I tell you that I never forget. That it was dark and you could see the tenseness of these families with their children. Not knowing what’s going to happen.
And sure enough, [sfx: train] we hear some noise and some jerking and an engineer coupled together with these two cars. And then start moving.
And an hour later we arrived. It stops in the middle of nowhere. Pitch dark, nothing, no lights. And next thing we know, a couple of soldiers come to the door. They say, “Everybody out! Single line!”
Everybody was scared. What the hell is going on here? I was in shock. I said, “Oh my God, what did we get ourselves into?” These Hungarian soldiers here.
We were near the border, not at the border. And all we could see as we get off the train, our group, the seven of us in one line. I was the front leader.
I look ahead and I could see Hungarian soldiers with guns shuffling some paper around. And I realized that money was being exchanged.
We didn’t have money. You get your adrenaline going you have to make split-second decisions. And I decided that I’m not gonna go to the soldiers. I turned behind me. I said, “Bill, I’m gonna go left. You go right. Tell the others to follow us.”
And it turns out that nobody followed me because Bill decided to be the last person on the line and he wanted to make a deal with the soldier who got us off the train and tell the soldier that let the group go off someplace else, which he did.
I feel a little guilty about it ever since then. That I was irresponsible. That I didn’t talk it over with Bill and I failed to make sure that everybody got the word.
[sfx: footsteps in field] So I go left. Bill and the group goes right. And they were looking for me and then I was looking for them.
It was a plowed field, so it was very difficult to walk on and I wanted to make a big circle, so that not to have any noise. And I’m guessing that it was just twenty minutes and I kept the distance. Keep watching the flashlights and I got to the peasants that were waiting there.
Host: It was at this moment that Bob realized he was part of an elaborate smuggling operation.
Bob: There were like ten peasants. Each was supposed to take a group of us into their house. And so that the station master probably got his share, the soldiers collected the money, the peasants collected the money, and they had a young member of the family who would take groups of ten across the border.
And I ended up in this peasant house. I was really very upset because I was all alone. And I asked the young peasant who was gonna guide us over the border to look for Bill.
And whatever money I had, I gave it to him. And when he spoke to me, I could smell the alcohol. This guy was already drinking heavily. And I said, “Oh my God, I just wasted my money.”
Sure enough. He came back a half an hour later and he said, “No word of your friend.”
Host: Bob is deeper in the hole now with no money for the border crossing.
Bob: I said, “I have no money.”
He says, “Not to worry. This family that was with us on a train, two young kids. I’m gonna carry the boy and you carry the girl. It’s even. Okay?”
And that’s what happened. I carried the girl and he carried the boy. He was leading the group through a small path. There’s a big swamp between Austria and Hungary and there’s roads but only the peasants know and it’s pitch dark, around midnight, drizzling cold night.
And he said, “Everybody, one line, no speaking, no words. If we hear any noises, hit the ground because there may be Russians watching what’s going on and there are watchtowers here so you have to be very careful.”
And then we started a long march, a good hour. And I was carrying this young girl on my back. Then at some point he stopped. He said, “This is it!”
Everybody paid him except me, and he said, “You go 50 meters and you’ll be crossing into Austria.”
And that’s how we ended up in Austria.
Host: Bob crossed over into the Eisenstadt region of Austria believing he was the first in his family to do so, but years later, he discovered the agonizing truth. His father had perished just a few miles east in a labor camp and his mother had been held prisoner a few miles west.
Bob: Austrian border guards took us into a village and we slept in a school with straw mattresses. And in the morning, somebody came in looking for me.
And turns out that Bill and his group managed to get across hours after I did.
His story is a fabulous story. The lady broke her ankle and the boy was yapping and wouldn’t shut up. And he was upset they couldn’t find the border.
They went in the wrong direction and they were circling around, had to cross a river and they all got wet. Somehow, they managed to stumble into this village that I was in hours later. By that time, I was sound asleep.
Host: Was Bill upset after you guys reunited?
Bob: No, he was happy but he was worried about me but I never felt so guilty. When I ended up by myself leaving my team behind. And I’m the guy who instigated this whole thing!
Host: So now you’re in Austria. And the question arises “Now what?” You have no idea, right?
Bob: From this village they moved us into Eisenstadt, a larger town that had a World War II allied army camp. And they converted it into a refugee camp and there were thousands of Hungarians waiting to be taken someplace else.
And I somehow managed to talk to some of the camp managers and I said, “We need to get to Vienna because we want to immigrate to some country and continue our studies.”
Host: Bob and Bill traveled to Vienna and were housed in the dining room of a monastery with 20 other refugees.
And your mother is back in Hungary at this point.
Bob: Yeah. The plan was that she’s gonna follow me once I’m safe and indeed, an opportunity arise.
Host: In Vienna, Bob ran into one of his uncles who had also fled to Austria. His uncle then masterminded a plan to bring family, including Bob’s mother, to Austria.
Bob: His wife’s sister is planning to come. It’s arranged for a certain date. And the smuggler is all arranged and my mother could join her.
And I was able to communicate with my mother. I’m not sure how we did it. My mother didn’t have a telephone but somehow got the word to her that she has to meet this family member. Somebody is picking them up on a certain time, take them to the border, cross the border, and bring them to Vienna.
And that particular day, I went to my uncle’s hotel room and there was a plan that my uncle went to the border to see that this happens and see the arrival of this in-law and my mother. And then he was going to call us back in Vienna that they arrived.
And I was there waiting for the phone call.
Host: Bob waited for the call with every ounce of hope he had.
Bob: The phone call came and my uncle says, “Your mother didn’t show up.” So that was the end.
And I was distraught. Probably, that was the moment that I realized that I have gotta be on my own. And then I may never see my mother again, because I had no idea that communism is gonna fall in 1989.
I didn’t realize it until maybe decades later that she really didn’t wanna leave. And her brother, Uncle Laci, probably talked her out of it. She stayed in Hungary and got remarried and had a wonderful marriage for at least 25 years until her husband died.
Host: Devastated by this news, Bob assessed his options.
Bob: My first goal was America. They said, “Sorry, you missed the quota.” I was going to someplace where I can continue with my studies. They were all interested in young Hungarians who finished high school and wanted to study. They didn’t want just anybody we explored all of them and we had our own 18 year-olds’ criteria.
Host: When Bob refers to “18 year olds’ criteria,” he is referring of course, to women! Together, they methodically evaluated Sweden, Australia, Israel, and Canada.
Bob: The rumor was that there were not enough women in Australia. Heck, why would we want to go to Australia? So that crossed off the list.
And the second was Sweden. And, of course, we knew about the beautiful blonde Swedish women. So that was very attractive. They said, “We’ll pay your education but we want you to sign a contract that you work after you graduate for 10 years.” And we didn’t like that.
And I didn’t want to go to Israel because I just didn’t want to separate from Bill. What the heck is he gonna to do in Israel? He’s not Jewish. And I felt guilty about leaving him behind. I already separated once when we crossed the border.
So that’s how we ended up with Canada. That’s how it was. We were very mature 18 year old kids.
Host: A decision tree should be based on something rather than nothing.
Bob: The Canadians said, “Okay, we’re gonna fly you to Canada, but it will take awhile.”
And in the meantime, they give us a little bit of money and we ended up working for the Red Cross putting packages together for the refugees, but it was my first free Christmas in Austria that I never forget. We were safe. We were free. It was just a unbelievable sight of a white Christmas.
Host: So Bob and Bill arrived in Canada as refugees in 1957. Bob essentially spent four years in Montreal. There, on a blind date, he met Eva, a fellow Hungarian whose family had immigrated to the west. Bob found a day job at what would become Nortel Networks. He also enrolled in night school, a four year engineering program at Sir George Williams University, which would be equivalent to two years at McGill University. After four years at Sir George, his plan was to complete the final two years at McGill in a day program. But fate intervened once again.
Bob: I started night school at Sir George Williams University. I met another Hungarian, Peter, at first class at Sir George, We became good friends and this is four years later, 1961. We were ready to go to McGill.
I asked one of our professors, “What’s the best engineering school in the world?” And he said, “I can think of two. One is MIT and the other one is Caltech.”
So I said to Peter, “Hey, why don’t we send the transcript to MIT, just for fun.” It’s only $10, fill out some form. So we did that. And we forgot about it, like a joke. You know, a prank.
Host: Months later, Bob and Peter get their decision letters.
Bob: I get a letter from MIT and Peter got one too saying, “Dear Robert, happy to tell you that you’re accepted for the junior year at MIT!”
And we got credit for all the courses we took. Even some courses we took in Hungary, like Russian. I was very proud of myself. So was Peter.
I took the letter, [sfx: paper crumpling] threw it in a waste basket.
Host: Wait, Bob, you may be the only person in history to throw away their MIT acceptance letter. I still have mine!
Bob: That may be, because that’s true story and Eva will back me up on that!
And came July of 61, Eva’s father comes to Montreal on a visit and we told him the situation. He got very upset. He says, “You can’t just not go to MIT!”
And I said, “Look, we don’t have the money. We have a thousand dollars saved in four years. And the tuition at MIT one semester was $750. And we’re not assured of anything, of getting scholarship or getting a loan. We may fail. The competition was severe. The grades were on the curve, competing with the smartest kids in the world.”
So the whole idea was really ridiculous, but we went up there because Eva’s father said, “Look, I’m going home. I’ll drop you off at MIT on my way home to New York.” Of course, I’d never been in the US, had no idea what the map looked like. I didn’t realize that MIT was a 200 mile detour.
So that’s what happened. Went up there and the admissions guy Mr. Chambers said, “I recommend that you come.” And even though we told him when the situation was he says, “Look, if you’ve got a B-plus average, you qualify for scholarship.”
And we got loans and he said, “Nobody ever left MIT because they couldn’t afford it.” This really stayed in my head. I said, “I can’t believe that.”
And so it was a long ten hour drive home to Montreal and Peter and I tried to be scientific about it, pros and cons.
And no matter how we looked at it, it just didn’t make sense because we were going to lose the scholarship from McGill. We’re gonna lose our thousand dollars. We’re gonna lose another year or whatever. It’s crazy.
I said to Peter, “Just [sfx: bleep] it! Let’s just do it!” And I didn’t know what he was going to say.
Host: So much for that decision tree.
Bob: I was ready to go. I was sold by the time I left the admissions office. I just had to convince Peter. He was a much more conservative guy than I was. But he said, “Okay, I’ll go with you.”
And that’s how we got into MIT.
Host: So it was a combo deal, either both of you are going or neither.
Bob: Yeah, I honestly don’t know if I would have gone by myself. Just like I’m not sure if Bill in Budapest said, “Bob, this is too risky. I’m not going to go.”
I don’t know if I would have gone by myself. I have no idea. You have to understand the mindset we lived in. We didn’t sleep for two years. In order for us to get good grades at Sir George, we took the textbook home, divided into pages, and then we took the dictionary and we had to translate because our English was not good enough for college.
Host: Do you remember your first memory of the MIT campus? Did you arrive at 77 Mass Ave or did you see Killian?
Bob: Oh yes. When we were there up for the freshmen rush week and I joined the fraternity. And during that week, we got introduction to MIT and we saw the campus, the main things and so forth. The most important thing was “Can we survive?” MIT, the best university in the world!
Host: In fine MIT tradition, imposter syndrome reared its head. Meanwhile, Bob had pledged Sigma Alpha Mu and the unthinkable happened.
Bob: At the fraternity party, the day before school started, I broke my arm, arm-wrestling and there I was starting Monday with my arm taped to my chest.
Host: Good grief! Imagine breaking a bone on Reg Day.
Bob: But as far as the struggles that we went through, it was to me just part of life. It’s just doing what you had to do.
Host: When you started your junior year at MIT, you were a bit older than everyone.
Bob: Oh yes, I was two or three years older. I was at the fraternity and I was a pledge. So the only luck I had was that my arm was broken, but all my other fraternity brothers had to brush the wooden floor with a toothbrush to clean it up and do all kinds of crazy things.
They took pity on me. Many of them I’m still in touch with.
Host: Did you feel that age difference as you interacted with your fellow undergrads?
Bob: No, no, but I think there was a certain respect because I was older. I ended up being the president of the fraternity.
But no, I had a lot of fun. I re-established contact with Eva who was by then in New York City going to Hunter College. We got engaged in early 63. We had a big pinning dinner for her at the fraternity and it was very beautiful.
I didn’t have money to buy her an engagement ring so she got my fraternity pin.
Host: What made you go Course 2?
Bob: I was told that I’m gonna be an engineer since I was six years old. And I was good at math and physics. I love mechanical engineering.
In retrospect, knowing what happened in the world in technology, I probably would have been better off with an electrical engineering degree but I became a mechanical engineer which I practiced for exactly three years.
Host: I think the Course 2 – Course 6 debates will never end.
Bob: That’s true, but I had a lot of fun.
Host: Okay. I can’t resist a side note here about the course disputes in East Campus. Alums does this ring a bell?
Course 6 would whine about six hertz. And Course 2 would retort with the expanded scope of mechanical, thermal, fluid, and electrical systems. Invariably, Course 16 would enter the fray. “We’re Course 2 plus making things fly.”
As a Course 2, I’d simply smile knowing full well that Course 8 and 18 were hardest core. I think they knew. That’s why they never said anything.
Bob: I graduated in January of 63 and immediately enrolled in the graduate school in the fluid mechanics department under Professor Shapiro, who was then the big name in fluid mechanics.
I discovered why I had to learn advanced math in graduate school. When you get to that level in physics and heat transfer, it’s all math.
I worked on some interesting stuff related to space. We were studying heat transfer in rarefied gases. That was all part of a program to figure out how to keep the tiles of the rockets stay on and not fall off.
And I worked on that issue under Air Force contract and nobody bothered by the fact that I had family under the communist regime. I was able to work on highly classified material. I finished graduate school less than two years.
Host: Given all the trauma and challenges you had in your childhood was MIT no big deal, the intensity of the curriculum?
Bob: It was just hard work. It was tough for me because I didn’t learn how to study hard until I got to MIT. When all of a sudden, I discovered that all the kids around me would spend hours and hours studying.
We had strict rules. The only day off was a Saturday, maybe. And you couldn’t do anything on Sunday. You had to be total silence. Everybody was studying.
Host: So you and Eva were married, living in Westgate, and your son was born.
Bob: Yeah, right there in Boston. And then soon after David was born, I just got my master’s degree and I had to get a job and I accepted a job at General Electric. Not the job I wanted because they wouldn’t hire me at Valley Forge where the fun work was done because I had family in the communist Hungary.
They wouldn’t hire me because of the risks even though I worked on a classified project as a graduate research assistant. GE said, “Sorry but we’ll give you a job in a commercial area in Philly.” And that’s where I worked for three years.
Host: Armed with an MIT education, Bob entered the business world and had a successful career, reaching the executive ranks in corporate America with work experience at GE, Exxon, and Xerox.
He earned an MBA from Drexel University, without breaking any bones, and eventually founded his own strategic consulting firm focused on mergers and acquisitions.
Bob also advised the Hungarian government on private sector business matters and the sale of government owned companies. To his utter surprise when visiting Budapest, the home where he had lived during the final weeks of the Holocaust remained as before scarred with bullet holes while every other building around it had been renovated.
Bob, what parting message would you like to offer?
Bob: I learned lessons about the human capacity for love and kindness and self-sacrifice as well as hate and cruelty during the Holocaust.
I learned the importance of family and having a role model to provide guidance on what is important: to grow up to be a responsible, sensible, and sensitive person.
I learned that pain and suffering in childhood or how poor you are growing up need not have a negative impact on your self-esteem.
I learned that socialism and communism are failed utopian ideologies and history has proven that it always results in misery, not to mention the moral corruption that inevitably results from a totalitarian system.
But history repeats itself and that is why it is important to teach these lessons. We are now in the 21st century and already there have been several genocides. Open a TV and you hear about the battle between socialist and Marxist ideologies against our democratic capitalistic system.
I learned the importance of setting goals, taking risks, working hard, and delaying gratification to achieve those goals.
I also learned that good luck, being at the right place at the right time, has a lot to do with success.
Being an immigrant in Canada and then in the US, I learned how to start out with no material possessions, not even speaking English, and end up as a highly educated, productive member of society in a few years.
These are the lessons I hope to pass on to my children, grandchildren, future generation of Ratonyis, and now to the general public with the publication of my book.
Host: This podcast covered the broad brush strokes of Bob Ratonyi’s life. In the interest of time, I left out poignant stories about sardines, chocolate, and clock oil, to name a few. You can dive into these alongside Bob’s coming of age in his powerful and moving book entitled From Darkness into Light: My Journey through Nazism, Fascism, and Communism to Freedom. 100% of proceeds go to Jewish charitable organizations. You’ll find this info in the show notes on the Institrve website.
Bob is a regular speaker on the Holocaust, sharing his story with adults and children alike. He and Eva are active philanthropists and support the arts and education. In fact, they’ve just endowed a scholarship at MIT to support students in need.
I’d like to thank Bob Ratonyi for taking a chance on me. This was the first episode I recorded and he agreed to be interviewed without a clear sense of what I do with this story. It’s yet another example of his ability to embrace uncertainty.
I am left humbled and inspired by how someone can be so generous, compassionate, and productive, despite all the evil inflicted upon him. But I am also appalled that genocide is not limited to our past. For the evil of the Holocaust is also a story about our present.
Please join me in a moment of silence for all those in history who lost their lives at the hands of persecution.
Now that you’ve heard this story, it belongs to you. The question is what are you going to do with it?
I hope that you’ll choose happiness and spread joy instead of hate.
See you next time.