Growing up with a Nazi father, Dr Bernd Wollschläger is now a Jew by choice. Born a German Catholic, he was the son of a tank commander who received the Iron Cross, Germany’s highest military honor, which was pinned on him by Adolf Hitler. When the son discovered his father was a decorated Nazi war hero who has kept the past hidden from his children, he rebelled, converted to Judaism, and even served in the Israel Defense Forces. Dismayed by the legacy of the Holocaust, the son found that the rift between family and faith never healed.
In our HKHTC webinar on 8 June 2022, Dr Bernd Wollschläger shared with us the story of a German life out of the shadow of a perpetrator.
This special webinar has been made possible by the generous support of the Raymond and Nicette Bera Foundation.
“When my children started asking questions about my parents, I decided to break the wall of silence and tell them the truth about me. I needed to express what compelled me to dramatically change my life. I finally had to explore the relationship with my father and how it was overshadowed by the Holocaust. Our unresolved conflict and his denial motivated me to search for answers, and I found them within me and my acquired faith: Against all odds, change is possible… This is my story.”
HKHTC mourns the victims of the horrific shootings in Buffalo, New York. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of the victims, as well as the communities targeted by the instigator of this brutal hate crime. This tragic attack — motivated by ethnic supremacist ideology — illustrates the continued necessity of tolerance education. It is imperative that we continue to strengthen efforts to teach the importance of non-discrimination and promote peaceful co-existence among peoples of different backgrounds.