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'Here we go again,' Holocaust survivor reflects on Oct. 7 attack

Texas — Eighty-nine-year-old Rosian Zerner was a child when she crawled under a barbed wire fence to escape a German concentration camp.

"It is very painful. I’m the last generation to be eyewitness. People have distorted, lied about it… said it never happened. Well, I was there, I know it happened then and I’m looking at what is happening now, and I pray to God it is stopped,” said Zerner.

This Holocaust Remembrance Day, Zerner is reflecting not only on the genocide of European Jews during World War II, but the Oct. 7, 2023 attacks by Hamas in southern Israel.

“Today for me is a real nightmare actually,” she shared. “The holocaust was supposed to be a lesson of what shouldn’t happen and here we are again, twice in my lifetime I’m a witness to horrors of people who want to kill me.”

Zerner described Oct.7 as “surreal.”

The unexpected and overwhelming assault by at least 1,500 Hamas fighters, pouring into Israel by land, sea and even paragliders, killed about 1,200 people, Israeli authorities said. More than 250 people were taken hostage and moved to Hamas’ Gaza stronghold. 

"It couldn’t be happening, what went through my mind is, this is just one incident, but they say they are going to do it again,” Zerner said.

Ongoing pro-Palestinian protests across colleges and universities in response to the Israel-Hamas war is something Zerner said she never thought she would see happen in America. 

"We cannot tolerate this as a civilization. We are suicidal basically when we do that, and we have now our youth our future, falling into that trap."




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