Holocaust survivor speaks in Montgomery: Don't let history repeat itself

Published: May. 31, 2017 at 2:42 AM CDT|Updated: May. 31, 2017 at 7:54 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - A man who survived one of the darkest periods in history was in Montgomery Tuesday evening with a powerful message at the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church.

The survivor spoke on the importance of standing with Israel and the Jewish community, the same community that stood with King just a few decades ago.

Irving Roth survived the unthinkable.

"I end up in one of those cattle cars. At age 14 I arrived in Auschwitz, and I was greeted by a death camp," Roth said.

He lived to tell the horrors of the Holocaust.

"One of the absolute necessary requirements to survive was to want to survive. The moment you gave up you were gone," Roth said.

The will to live eventually brought him to the birthplace of the Civil Rights movement, a powerful juxtaposition for Rev. Lyndon Allen.

"A man who is Jewish stands in the same spot as a man of African descent in the city that would not have liked to see either of them together or in the same space," said Allen, the region coordinator for Christians United for Israel.

History shows that King understood the importance of having Jewish-American Civil Rights activists involved in his work, a message Allen and Roth want to continue today.

"I truly believe that we as Christians need to stand with the Jewish people whose lives are being threatened around the world and not only that, Irving Ross will recognize that Christians are also under attack around the world," Allen said.

Both men recognize the divide they say our country is facing.

"Prejudice, hatred, anti-Semitism is repeating itself unprecedented form," Roth said.

For this Holocaust survivor, it's a history he can't bear to see repeated.

"We can't have two sets of facts. There's only one set.  As long as we speak to the facts, to the historical truth, we are OK. We can talk, we can even yell at each other but the moment you start making up the facts there's no discussion there's no conversation it's pure lies, and that's what demonization is all about," Roth said.

The event was the first of its kind organized by Christians United for Israel - the largest pro-Israel organization with 3.5 million members around the country.

Officials say the group's chairmen recently met with President Donald Trump. We're told that meeting was off the record.

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