While celebrating its senior class at graduation tonight, Avon High School took the time to thank a longtime friend.
Abby Weiner, a Holocaust survivor who has spoken to countless classes about his excruciating youth, received an honorary degree.
He explained to Eyewitness News on Tuesday that his real name was “Iabi.”
“After the war, I came to England and I told them my name, and they said I have to anglicize it,” Weiner said.
His name doesn’t bother him, but what does, rather what haunts him, are his teenage years. In 1944, he was 14. That was during WWII.
Nazis captured his family and he was sent to the notorious death camp Auschwitz because they were Jewish.
The family was ripped apart by the Nazis.
“There was so much abuse and I think they only did it for the own satisfaction because they were sadistic and hated your guts,” Weiner said.
He watched as people fought each other for a morsel of food.
“People can be so cruel to each other for a slice of bread or a cup of coffee or a cup of soup,” he said.
Weiner was sent to numerous camps including Buchenwald. His eyes have seen horrors few can fathom.
On his arm is a painful reminder, his prisoner identification number.
On Tuesday night, Weiner shared the spotlight with students.
Young people who cherish him, hearing his stories, learning from the greatest survivor they know.
Students also got the chance to repay him for all he’s done, to teach them of the atrocities that are possible, that he witnessed.
Weiner graciously accepted an honorary degree and the praise that came with it. It was a gesture Avon was proud to deliver.
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