Holocaust survivor, 92, gets diploma
Saturday, June 23, 2012
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Fred Voss chuckled at the thought.
“Gosh, what a headline that is,” he marveled. “Ninety-two-year-old Holocaust survivor, World War II veteran, finally gets high school diploma.”
Voss was making that headline real Friday night, marking the culmination of an amazing journey with a diploma from Lansing High School, 45 miles southwest of Syracuse.
Voss, who already has a GED and has spoken out against hatred to high school and college students for nearly three decades, said he would accept it on behalf of the Jewish children who were never able to pursue their education.
“I’ve waited for this for 77 years, so I’m really very proud to receive a high school diploma in the name of 1.5 million Jewish children — from tiny babies to early teenagers — whose innocent lives perished in the Holocaust,” Voss said. “How many future brilliant scholars were lost? How many of those children might have contributed to allowing all of us to live in a better world? They were forced out of schools. Rather than be educated, they were killed. The world will never know.”
Voss grew up in Aachen in western Germany and had a normal childhood before his world came crashing down the day of his bar mitzvah in 1933. When the family returned home after the ceremony, soldiers barred the way.