Man on parents during the Holocaust: ‘They were hidden in that root cellar for 27 months’


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Years after millions of Jews and others were murdered during the Holocaust, people continue to share their stories. This includes survivors, and people who knew them.

Sam Devinki says his parents survived the Holocaust. He was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany and shared his family’s story Thursday with a large group at Newman University, to keep it alive.

It’s a story Sam Devinki says he didn’t hear, until he was in his 40s.

“When she saw all of these survivors telling their story, that’s when she opened up, and that’s when we started to learn the details of what happened to my uncles, and my cousins,” said Sam Devinki, Midwest Center for Holocaust Education.

He says his parents, were the lucky ones. He says they didn’t end up in a concentration camp, but rather went into hiding, thanks to a Polish Catholic man.

“A root cellar is just a dirt hole in the ground, and they were hidden in that root cellar for 27 months,” said Devinki.

They survived the Holocaust, but he says other relatives did not. So to keep they and others’ stories alive, he shares his family’s.

“If I can capture the mind of just one or two of those kids, I feel like I’ve been successful,” said Devinki.

Others agree that the only way to prevent anti-Semitism and hate, is through education.

“We need to be vigilant, we need to somehow take control of our society in such a way that people can live secure lives,” said Judah Kogen, Hebrew Congregation of Wichita.

Mayor Jeff Longwell also attended the event and proclaimed Thursday as a day of remembrance in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

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