Holocaust survivor tells heartbreaking story to students at Congregation Beth Israel

HOUSTON - Thursday was Holocaust Remembrance Day -- a time to recall one of the most horrific events in human history, when the Nazis killed at least six million Jews in Europe.

Students from the Shlenker School at Congregation Beth Israel got a first-hand account of the Holocaust from a survivor of three Nazi concentration camps, including the death camp at Auschwitz in Poland.

"I was born in Eastern Europe in 1923," Holocaust survivor Bertha Irena Roth began her story.

For the first time ever, Roth shared her story in English in this NewsFix exclusive.

"People, they have to know what has happened," Roth said.

Irena shared how Nazis shaved everyone's heads and made them strip down naked, enduring all kinds of torture.

"I don't- don't recognize my sister, my friend, nobody," Roth said.

The 95-year-old is grateful to share her story so that no one will forget the atrocities she witnessed and the day Americans saved her.

"Everybody crying and screaming, 'We are free! We are free!'" Irena recalled.

"There's a lot of like fear probably going through her mind," student Esther Gordon remarked. "It's very important that we learn about this."

The Holocaust marred the 20th century like no other event, leaving those who survived scarred forever.

Irena was one of three million Holocaust survivors, but  now, there are less than 100,000 left alive.

"It's very important because that generation is now starting to go away," Dorit Crane, a teacher at the Shlenker School, said. "This is the opportunity for the grandkids to listen to the story from first-hand, and unfortunately, in the future they're the ones that need to tell the stories to their kids because there won't be anymore first-hand stories to them."

Irena expressed her final wish with, "Live in peace and no more war, no more Holocaust.”

On a day like this, it's more important than ever to understand: those who fail to remember history are doomed to repeat it!