Last year I met Dr. Robert O. Fisch. He is an amazing man. Not only did he survive the Holocaust. He is also a medical doctor and an artist. I could relate to him. I learned much in the time I spent with him. I know that I am a survivor and I desire that you are too. Here are a some things I took away from our conversations.
As my husband Jeff and I attended the St. Paul MN Spring Art Crawl (2012), we found his artist location. While observing his art and books he approached us and began to share, “you can change, it’s up to you.” “You have the power to change a few people but the rest of the people you have no control over.” “They are just people and you have no control over them.” He said he takes humor seriously and proceeded to share 2 jokes about a pessimist and the optimist. Sorry to say I don’t remember the jokes, but we did purchase 2 of his books.
Later on heading home we discussed more insights from our visit with Dr. Fisch: combining art and writing, the power of suffering, the appreciation of liberty and freedom, the importance of humor in serious situations, there is a Jewish connection, and also the similarities or the likeness between abortion and the holocaust (two horrific killings). He was gracious and looked healthy for his age. He was attentive and focused on telling us things. He was involved in changing the world, speaking in schools, getting money to a foundation to get the word out about the holocaust. He was translating his books into Hungarian and German. Sunday was the last day of the art crawl. We headed back to the same spot where he was located the night before in hopes of spending more time with him. As we entered the area where he was speaking and sharing with others he acknowledged us with a nod, he remembered us from last night. His words he shared today were, “suffering is a part of life.” “You don’t have to go through the holocaust to go through hell.” “It’s all about coping with it.” “People will say I don’t want to suffer but I tell them suffering is part of life.” “It’s about coping with suffering.” Then he talked about because he’s been through suffering he sees things differently. He goes to his favorite restaurant in mpls and eats a meal. It’s good but he would be satisfied with the bread alone. He’s been through suffering so he’s content with just a little bread.
One of the books Dr. Fisch put out is called “Light from the Yellow Star: A Lesson of Love from the Holocaust,” that he shares with everyone, but primarily his focus is to junior high and high school age children. They use his speaking and books as educational tools to awaken in the kids that the holocaust is real.
Wow, so many similarities between what he does and what I do. By sharing our testimonies it’s real to us and no one can argue with us. I’m so thankful that we had an opportunity to meet! Check out Dr. Fisch’s website: http://www.yellowstarfoundation.org/index.htm