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Holocaust Survivor Talks to Bucksport Middle Schoolers 

Students at Bucksport Middle School tell us they’ll remember today for the rest of their lives, because of what they learned from a man named Max Slabotzky.Slabotzky is a survivor of the Holocaust. He visited the school Wednesday morning to share his story.Max Slabotzky is 78 years old. But on this day, he took students back in time to when he was just 12, about their age. He was separated from his family and taken by train to a Nazi concentration camp, where he was forced into labor.”We did all the work and got very little food. And when you don’t eat you are weak, and you walk slowly. And they don’t like that, they flick the whip,” he says.For the next two hours, Slabotzky talked to the students about his experience, as he was moved between camps, never sure what would happen next. The students were full of questions and he answered every one. “I was hoping to find my family. That made me survive,” he says.After U.S. troops liberated the camp, he discovered that many of his family members had been killed. In 1955, Slabotzky moved to the U.S. He now lives in Portland. He’s a fifth-generation tailor, retired, with three children. “He was so strong through all that,” says 7th grader Delaney Davis. “To hear someone talk about going through all that stuff at our age, I couldn’t imagine it.””I was not better or stronger,” Slabotzky says, of surviving. “Just lucky to be in the right place at the right time.”Slabotzky says the memories of what he went through are with him every day. But he hopes by sharing them, students will better understand our history.”It’s a lot different than if you just learned it out of a book,” says 7th grader Zach Clark. “I think it was pretty amazing.””I want the young people to remember what happened. I want them to remember that,” Slabotzky says.Students tell us they will remember, and they certainly won’t forget Slabotzky.