Holocaust survivor speaks to LU students

Irving Roth (right) speaks to a group of students and teachers at Liberty University's Helms School of Government in Lynchburg, Va., February 24, 2014. (Photo by Parker Michels-Boyce/The News & Advance)

Speaking at convocation Monday morning, Holocaust survivor Irving Roth called on Liberty University students to remember the injustices Jewish people continue to suffer and asked the audience to support Israel.

Roth was born in Czechoslovakia in 1929. He was 15 years old in 1945 when American soldiers entered his concentration camp and liberated the prisoners. He already had survived Auschwitz and Buchenwald by the time he landed in New York Harbor in 1947.

“I come to you with a plea: Understand what is going on. Understand what happened to the Jewish people,” said Roth, an author and director of the Holocaust Resource Center.

Although the Holocaust ended in 1945, that same land has continued to experience wars, he said.

“The enemy of justice is persistent,” said Roth, adding people now demonize the Jewish people all over again.

“When you have weapons in the hands of Iran, none of us are safe,” said Roth. “Their aim is straightforward, the control of the world.

“I have hope that this will not happen.”

Johnnie Moore, senior vice president for communications for Liberty University, asked students to educate themselves, so as to not repeat the past. He said Liberty University continues to support Israel.

“We intend on maintaining that friendship,” Moore said.

This month, Liberty University publicly denounced the boycott of Israel by the American Studies Association — a group of faculty members of American colleges and universities. The ASA called on American universities to sever formal collaborative agreements with academic institutions in Israel.

“We consider these boycotts as nothing more than thinly veiled attempts to delegitimize the state of Israel and to pressure Israel to capitulate to America’s enemies in the Middle East,” said LU Chancellor Jerry Falwell in a news release.

“Make sure you help us continue to fight for the democracy of Israel, the United States and the whole world.”

Contact Amy Trent at (434) 385-5543 or atrent@newsadvance.com.

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