Macon County Chronicle

Holocaust Liberator Speaks at Westside Elementary

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On Saturday, February 28, Mr.Jimmy Gentry, spoke at Westside Elementary School.

He was an Army soldier stationed in Europe during World War II and he served there in 1944 and 1945. Mr. Gentry witnessed first hand boxcars lined up with dead bodies who looked starved and torturted by the Nazi regime, who were identified to him as Jews. The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews, after they suffered imprisonment, torture, hard labor, and starvation. “Holocaust” is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.” The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933 believed that Germans were “racially superior” and that the Jews, deemed “inferior”, were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community. A Liberator is someone who releases people from captivity to bondage. “I knew that soldiers died in war,” said Gentry, “but non-soldiers? Just people? Religious people? I can’t understand it. Not then, now now.” Talking about it so many years later made such an impact on Jimmy Gentry, that he wrote a book called “An American Life” in 2002. (Photos by D. Gregory)