Brittany Pfau's Experience Having a Grandpa as a Holocaust Survivor!
This week I interviewed one of my best friends from Long Island, Brittany Pfau. The reason I thought it would be extra interesting to talk to Britt about her Jewish Experience is because her grandfather was actually in the Holocaust. I always wondered why Brittany’s mom was so persistent about her ending up with a Jewish boy. I found out a huge part of this is Brittany’s mom wanting to continue her father’s legacy and continue to expand the Jewish culture through her family.
As Brittany gets older, she’s more and more thankful that her grandpa is a survivor. She wouldn't be here without him and this is why being Jewish is such a big part of her life. So, I decided to question Brittany a little more about her grandfather and how he’s doing now. Brittany said, “my grandpa always kept being in the holocaust to himself. Over the years we found out more about his story that he hadn't told us, because he didn't want to freak us out.” Her grandfather’s name is Morris Lerer. He was in Poland at the time of the Holocaust and was fortunate enough to have survived, and traveled to America when the war was over. Britt talked about her grandfather now and said, “my grandpa is still here at age 93-95. We don't know how old he is exactly. And he's still healthy, going strong, and was able to meet three of his great grandkids.”
Brittany says she recently interviewed him about his story because she had always been curious. When talking with her grandpa, Britt says, “ It was hard watching him relive those moments, but it was also eye opening hearing it from someone blood-related to me that actually experienced it himself.” Her grandpa spoke mostly about friends and family and their experiences rather than himself, because he tried to block the tragedy out of his memory.
As for Britt, she’s always been surrounded by Jewish people and it's just been a way of life. After going to college at the University of Delaware, she realize how rare it is to meet Jewish people. Compared to our high school we went to in Jericho, New York, going to college was definitely an eye opener.
Brittany went on birthright at the start of this summer and this, especially made her realize how much of a community Jewish people have. It's more than just a religion. She claims, “I’m not a religious person at all, but I feel extremely connected to Jewish people.” She went on birthright not knowing anyone, and didn't expect to get to know every single Jewish person on her trip. Britt says, “I know going to Israel makes my grandpa proud. It's an experience I wouldn't trade for anything and I'm so glad I got to be apart of it “ Brittany is graduating from the University of Delaware in December, with a major in art and a double minor in interactive media and advertising. This final semester at school, she wants to join UD Hillel and see where it takes her. To make Brittany’s mom happy, I told Britt she should get on J Swipe, so she can meet a nice Jewish boy from Long Island, raise their kids in Brookville, send them to sleep away camp in upstate New York, throw them an extravagant Bar/bat mitzvah, and do it all over again!
Thanks for sharing yours and your grandpa’s story with us Brittany!
By Gabby Costa
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