by Amila Tola–
There are many great things that make up Virginia Tech. Whether it is Hokie pride, the beautiful campus, or the delicious food students admire this campus like no other. However, there is more to Virginia Tech than just pretty buildings and great cuisines, the university gives students the privilege to meet several remarkable people who have gone through extremely rare experiences. One of the people in this elite group is Anita Weisbord, an Austrian born holocaust survivor.
Ms. Weisbord has an unimaginable life all due to the terrifying, yet victorious experience of being under Adolf Hitler’s rein. Fortunately for her and her loved ones, they all survived but by the skin of their teeth. Her father, unfortunately, was the only one taken into a concentration camp, Auschwitz. He was freed once the United States broke down the gates and freed the unfortunate souls.
Ms. Weisbord’s mother was also ripped apart from he family, but she escaped from the hand of Nazi power by jumping into a ditch near the train railway and ‘playing dead.’ Ms. Weisbord and her siblings (brother and sister) escaped by becoming part of the Kindertransport. This was a rescue mission run by the United Kingdom a few short months before the outburst of World War II that took in nearly 10,000 predominantly Jewish Children from Austria, Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.
Her brother joined the British forces and her sister became a nurse. Anita on the other hand remained out of the radar and started a whole new life, met her future husband and started a family of her own. She reconnected with her family years after the war had deceased.
Today Ms. Weisbord is the vice president of the Kindertransport Association, an organization whose goal is to educate the young public about this past historical tragedy so it is never forgotten. Ms., Wesibord travels around the world sharing her story with several schools and universities. Her tale is not only emotional for her to tell, but also for the audience.
To this day Anita says, “Every time I go to a train station, I feel very emotional. It brings back memories of leaving my family, never knowing if I’ll see them again.” She is a 92-year-old brave soul who has accomplished more than she has ever expected to, and for that she is reverenced by all who are graced with her presence.