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Holocaust Survivor Makes a Speech at NP3 High

Holocaust survivor Sy Karfiol speaks to NP3 High students, teachers and staff.

By Chim Unanwa
Staff Writer | The Pacific Times

Holocaust survivor Sy Karfiol held a speech and Q&A session for NP3 High’s students and teachers on Feb. 26.

Karfiol was born in Belgium in April 1940, making him currently 79 years old. Nazis took his father to Auschwitz, so his mother hid him and his sister with a Catholic family.

“The family I was hidden at was called the Poleman. The Poelman family were very nice, quiet people … and I went to church with them every Sunday.”

He thought his father had died in Auschwitz, but was proven wrong in 1946, after World War II ended.

“The names of the Jewish children who survived the war were posted in post offices and police stations. My father actually survived three years in Auschwitz and he found my name on the list.“

At six years old, Karfiol’s father enrolled him in a Jewish school, and he became Jewish rather than Catholic as a result.

They moved to the US in 1954, where Karfiol attended high school and later graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Now retired, he used to work in the Aerospace industry as a Software Engineer.


Karfiol’s speech was given during students’ normal Tutorial and Advisory times, lasting for roughly an hour. 10th grade students were required to attend, as they had been currently studying the Holocaust.

At the end of his speech, students and teachers asked Karfiol’s about his life during the Holocaust, his feelings toward the Nazis, and how he coped with the loss of countless family members.


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