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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 23, 1999)
Holocaust survivor speaks
on religious acceptance
Omahan relates experiences in concentration camps
The Christians are right, the Jews are right,
the Muslims are right and the Hindus are
right. We just all htxve different
channels to God."
concentration camp survivor
By Kim Sweet
Nearly 125 students packed the
Neihardt Blue TV Lounge Monday
night to get a history lesson they could
n’t read about in a textbook.
Instead of listening to a professor
lecture, students listened intently -
sometimes in awe - of the story told by
Cantor Leo Fettman, a survivor of one
of the most horrific Nazi death camps
during the Holocaust.
But instead of focusing only on his
experiences at Auschwitz, Fettman,
who lives in Omaha, made his agenda
clear at the beginning of his speech.
“I’m here to tell you about the expe
riences in labor camps,” Fettman said.
“I’m here to help you become better
OnApril 16,1944, Fettman, then 19
years old, was escorted from his home
in Hungary by two Nazi soldiers.
After being confined to a ghetto
with 2,500 other Jews, Fettman traded
in his Jewish insignia for plain clothes
so he would not be identified as Jewish
to Nazi soldiers. In order to help his
family members and other Jews get
food and clothing, he denied his reli
“I hear that you are looking for
young, Hungarian Christians,” Fettman
said to the Nazi soldiers.
After the soldier asked liftman why
he wanted to become a Nazi, the
Auschwitz survivor remembered his
“Because I hate Jews,” Fettman
But after weeks of aiding the Jews,
Fettman decided to hand in the disguise
land accompany his family to
Auschwitz, where he would watch his
parents walk into the gas chamber,
would become the subject of a number
of experiments and would attempt sui
Even after observing many of the
atrocities at Auschwitz, one thing has
remained steady in Fettman’s life - his
During his presentations, Fettman
said, bringing awareness to the Jewish
religion takes just as much priority as
his experiences during the Holocaust.
But he also stressed the importance of
being open-minded about all religions.
“The Christians are right, the Jews
are right, the Muslims are right and the
Hindus are right,” Fettman said in an
interview before his speech. “We just all
have different channels to God.”
Along with accepting and respect
ing the differences in religion, Fettman
said it was important to accept people
for tfieir differences.
I “Every person has a right to their
opinion,” Fettman said. “We should
accept people for who they are, not for
what we want them to be.”
Kristin Kruse, an undeclared fresh
man and member of Neihardt Council,
helped bring Fettman to the University
After hearing the Holocaust sur
vivor on a previous occasion, Kruse
decided Fettman’s message would have
a powerful impact on students and help
diem think about the future.
“It’s important to prevent something
like the Holocaust from happening
again,” Kruse said.
Fettman’s message reached Krista
Hill, a senior biology major. Hill said it
was important for that message to be
“We need education to prevent it
from ever happening again,” Hill said.
Fettman’s story will be spread, if not
by mouth, through words, with the April
release of his book “Shoah: Journey
from the Ashes.”
The book is a result of a life mission
Fettman took on after he was liberated
After questioning a rabbi on why he
was allowed to live while his parents
died, the rabbi responded by saying his
parents’ missions had been fulfilled, but
Fettman’s had not.
“I came across a book that said the
Holocaust never happened,” Fettman
said. “It was then I found my mission.”
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Council: Continue study
■ Members vote to delay
0 Street construction
awaiting more research.
The Lincoln City Council voted
Monday to continue a study considering
whether to widen east O Street to six
lanes from 52nd Street to Wedgewood
Coutocil members were unanimous
in their vote, which eliminated any con
struction of the east O Street project
until late summer or early fall.
The resolution called for an envi
ronmental evaluation of the two alterna
tives proposed for widening the east
portion of the street
■ Thfr first alternative pairs 56th
Street and Cotner Boulevard as one
way streets from Randolph to P streets.
P Street would be one-way, westbound.
■ The second alternative pairs 56*
Street and Cotner Boulevard as one
way streets from Randolph to R streets.
This alternative leaves P Street open to
Both alternatives will be studied by
the Department of Public Works and
During Monday’s meeting, council
members expressed concern about sev
eral issues they felt should be included
in the study.
Councilman Jeff Fortenberry said
he was concerned about certain neigh
borhoods that could be affected by the
“Even though (56th Street and
Cotner Boulevard) are arterials, they are
neighborhoods - important neighbor
hoods - for our community,”
Fortenberry said elements such as
narrow lanes, landscaping and a poten
tial slow-down of traffic should be
taken into consideration to ensure
Councilman Jerry Shoecraft also
said that many local businesses were
concerned the project would eliminate
left-hand turn lanes on O Street.
Though a final public hearing will
not be held until the end of the summer,
Council Chairman Curt Donaldson said
he was optimistic about the final out
Lied Center for Performing Arts presents
Tango Buenos Aires
Friday, March 26,1999, 8pm
Danny Gottlieb, Percussion
•'i ■ -
Saturday, March 27, 1999, 8pm
Johnny Carson Theater
Locally sponsored by Dietze Music House, Inc.
Tickets: 472-4747 or I-800-432-3231
Box Office: ! t .<X)am-5:30pm M-F
\Wwr> nly n Lied Center programming is supported by the Friends of Lied and grams from the National Endowment tor the Arts, Mid
INcUlujKii America Arts Alliance and the Nebraska Arts Council. Ail events are made possible by the Lied Performance Fund which
irnnfWTTo,iiwuiA-Ln.rn..w has been established in memory at Ernst F. Lied and his parents, Ernst M. and Me Ulied..
• - - '
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