EXCLUSIVE – Holocaust Survivor: ‘I’m Thankful’

The following article is by Martin Greenfield, author of the new memoir Measure of a Man: From Auschwitz Survivor to Presidents’ Tailor (Regnery). 

Experiencing and expressing gratitude should never feel clichéd.

I’m thankful. 

I’m thankful that seventy years ago at Auschwitz, despite my mother, grandparents, two sisters, and 5-year-old baby brother being sent to Hitler’s ovens, I was spared.

I’m thankful for the nameless older Jewish inmate inside the Nazi laundry who taught me how to sew, a skill I’ve used now for decades as a master tailor to Hollywood stars and U.S. presidents.

I’m thankful for the last conversation I had with my father inside the concentration camp before we were separated and he was later murdered. “You are young and strong, and I know you will survive,” he told me in a quiet moment our first night at Auschwitz. “If you survive by yourself, you must honor us by living, by not feeling sorry for us. That is what you must do.”

I’m grateful for those words. They echo in my heart even still. It was a gift only a father’s wisdom could give. It gave me a reason to go forward, a reason to be. It does still. And I’m grateful.

I’m thankful that in the winter of 1945, the stupid-looking wooden clogs the Nazis made me wear did not give out in the unrelenting snows we encountered over many miles during the Death March from Buna to Gleiwitz. Even as the German soldiers turned our column into a moving shooting gallery, for some unknown reason, God kept their guns off me, sparing me the fate of the scores of frozen frames that lay littered across the land, embalmed in glacial graves.

I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the hundreds of thousands of American boys led by Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower—whom I later made suits for—and their willingness to fight and die to destroy Hitler’s death machine.

I’m thankful.

I’m thankful that when I arrived in America, penniless and unable to speak and read English, I encountered a kind and patient American English teacher who taught night classes at Erasmus High School in New York. When she learned of my fascination with baseball, she agreed to attend a Brooklyn Dodgers game. Ebbets Field proved to be the ultimate American classroom. There, she turned the baseball diamond into a chalkboard. She made me pronounce every position and read every billboard.

Around the eighth inning, I looked out across the lush green field and up into the clear blue sky. I was struck by the improbability of the moment. My life was a miracle. The crack of a baseball bat had replaced the smack and sting of a flogging stick. I had friends. I had newly discovered family members in America. I had a green card. I had a job and a chance. I had Jackie Robinson.

A rush of gratitude overcame me—a feeling that my life had a meaning and purpose that I couldn’t fathom, that by some astonishing act of divine benevolence I’d been one of the fortunate few who were spared the flames.

I was grateful then, I am grateful now.

I’m thankful for my wife, Arlene, who loves and supports me, and did through all those years when my night terrors awoke her from her sleep.

I’m thankful for my two sons, Tod and Jay, who run our “only in America” hand-tailored suit business in Brooklyn.

I’m thankful for grandchildren who will never know how much every hug, every fleeting smile means to a man who became an orphan when he was 15.

I’m grateful.

I’m grateful that for some grace-filled reason, against all logic and probability, God led Americans to fight for me, to save me, to claim me as one of their own, to nurture me with opportunities, and to help me build a home where I could love and raise my family in my beloved America.

I’m left with nothing but gratitude and joy for my life.

I pray the same for you.

Martin Greenfield is the author of the new memoir, Measure of a Man: From Auschwitz Survivor to Presidents’ Tailor 




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Claire McCaskill Denies Hating Cardinal Raymond Burke

Shortly after Senate Democrats voted earlier this month to name Harry Reid their leader, Reid sat down with the The New York Times and vented about Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, who earlier that day declined to vote for him.

Reid talked about attending the funeral of former Missouri Senator Tom Eagleton some years ago and spending hours with then-St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, recently demoted by Pope Francis.

“After the funeral, we went to [Burke’s] home; I don’t know what it’s called. A very nice place. And we talked about nothing. Now Claire McCaskill and others just hate the man,” said Reid.

Over the years, the pro-abortion McCaskill had her fill of trouble with the conservative prelate. In fact, Burke got her disinvited as the commencement speaker at her own daughter’s Catholic high school.

Even so, McCaskill’s office flatly denied she hates Cardinal Burke. Her spokesman said, “Those were Harry Reid’s words, not Claire’s; she would never use the word ‘hate’ when talking about the church.”




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Student Robbed at Gunpoint, Says He Deserved It Due to His ‘Privilege’

Oliver Friedfeld, a senior at Georgetown University (GU) and his roommate were recently mugged at gun point — but Frieldfeld says he deserved it because of his “privilege.” 

In an oped for the GU newspaper, The Hoya, Friedfeld wrote that he “can hardly blame” the assailants for robbing him. He argued that income inequality is to blame for the incident. 

“Who am I to stand from my perch of privilege, surrounded by million-dollar homes and paying for a $60,000 education, to condemn these young men as ‘thugs?’ It’s precisely this kind of ‘otherization’ that fuels the problem,” Friedfeld wrote. 

He continued, “Not once did I consider our attackers to be ‘bad people.’ I trust that they weren’t trying to hurt me. In fact, if they knew me, I bet they’d think I was okay. The fact that these two kids, who appeared younger than I, have even had to entertain these questions suggests their universes are light years away from mine.”

Friedfeld asserted that in order to end opportunistic crime, “We should look at ourselves first. Simply amplifying police presence will not solve the issue.”

It is up to millenials to “right some of the wrongs of the past,” the GU senior continued. “Until we do so, we should get comfortable with sporadic muggings and break-ins. I can hardly blame them. The cards are all in our hands, and we’re not playing them.”

Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate




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Koran Should be Read at Prince Charles’s Coronation, Says Anglican Bishop

Prince Charles’s coronation should include a reading from the Koran, a Church of England Bishop has said. Lord Harries of Pentregarth, a retired Bishop of Oxford, said that such a gesture at the traditionally Anglican service would be “creative” and make Muslims feel “embraced” by the nation.

Speaking in the House of Lords yesterday, the retired bishop, who continues to serve as an assistant in the Anglican diocese of Southwark, said that the Church of England should be “exercising its historic position in a hospitable way.”

Speaking of a civic service held at Bristol Cathedral last year, he said that authorities had agreed that a passage from the Koran should be read out before the Christian service started. “It was a brilliant creative act of accommodation that made the Muslim high sheriff feel, as she said, warmly embraced but did not alienate the core congregation,” he said.

“That principle of hospitality can and should be reflected in many public ceremonies, including the next coronation service.”

Prince Charles has previously stated that when he becomes king he wants to be seen as “Defender of Faith”, rather than “Defender of the Faith” – a title traditionally used by British monarchs, first bestowed on Henry VIII by Pope Leo X in 1521.

However, some Christian groups have criticised the idea. Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute told the Daily Mail: “Most people will be amazed at the idea that a Christian leader would consider the use of the Koran at a Christian service in a Christian abbey. 

“People are just so disappointed when senior Church of England figures lose confidence in the claims of the Christian faith.”

Britain is one of the few monarchies to maintain a traditional Christian coronation service when a new king of queen ascends the throne, rather than a simple inauguration or swearing in. The service, which is always held in Westminster Abbey, involves the new monarch being formally crowned and swearing to defend the Church of England, of which they are Supreme Governor.

Due to Queen Elizabeth’s long reign, there has been no coronation service since 1953, during which time Britain has changed dramatically through mass immigration.

Andrea Minichello Williams, who serves on the Church of England’s General Synod, and is head of pressure group Christian Concern, said: “At a time when we are looking at what British values mean, we cannot have values in a vacuum. British values stem from our Christian heritage.

“We cannot pretend all religions are the same, or have the same benefits and outcomes for the nation.”




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Search for Missing Ohio State Lineman

Authorities, family, and friends have organized a search for an Ohio State University football player who has been missing since early on November 26.

OSU walk-on senior defensive tackle Kosta Karageorge’s family say the player hasn’t been seen since Wednesday morning, the day before Thanksgiving, and fear that he may be in danger of harming himself.

“He had some extenuating circumstances that night that lead us to believe he was upset,” his sister Sophia told the media.

Karageorge’s parents have filed a missing persons report and police confirm that a search for the missing man is underway, but an intense search of the OSU campus resulted in no sign of the player.

“We’re very concerned that he’s not himself and that he maybe doesn’t know what’s going on,” the missing player’s mother said. She also thought that the concussions he suffered while playing football and wrestling may have contributed to his state of mind. She said she fears that the repercussions for his injuries may “have been long-term or delayed.”

According to a missing-person report filed with police and reported by the Columbus Dispatch, Karageorge texted his mother at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday saying, “I am sorry if I am an embarrassment but these concussions have my head all f—ed up.”

Karageorge hasn’t been heard from since his early morning text. He also missed football practice on Wednesday afternoon.

Police ask that anyone with information about Karageorge’s whereabouts call 614-747-1729.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.




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