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Holocaust survivors in SWFL share messages of hope during pandemic

As we search for signs of hope during the coronavirus pandemic, we heard from those who endured and survived during a horrific time in human history.

We spoke with two Holocaust survivors in Southwest Florida Monday who shared their thoughts with all of us.

“You never knew what was going to happen to you,” holocaust survivor Rob Nossen told WINK News. “Out of about 15 roughly 15,14,15 of us, everybody else died.”

“There isn’t a day in my life that I don’t think about my parents, what they missed, what my children missed, what I missed,” holocaust survivor Rosette Priever Gerbosi told WINK News.

How do you survive?

“How do you survive? You keep going,” Nossen said. “That’s how you survive.”

“There is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Gerbosi said. “We’ll get through it. We’re strong. We are survivors. I’m a survivor. If I survived the holocaust, we can survive this.”

“We don’t know how long it’s going to take,” Nossen said. “And that’s the survivor mentality. A lot of this is the survival mentality.”

“There’s always hope … that things will get better,” Gerbosi said.

“When you look at the food banks and the people helping and all the volunteers,” Nossen said. “These nurses, these doctors, the EMTs.”

“With a situation like this, that brings out the best in people,” Nossen said. “There were people — it’s the same as in the holocaust — here were people that hid Jews; that smuggled [them] out. There were people that helped.”

“Value your family,” Gerbosi said. “Because, when they’re no longer with you, that’s when you feel it the most.”

“Hey. We’re not alone. It’s not the first time,” Nossen said. “We’ve all gone through it in some different ways. And this too shall pass.”

“Perhaps it teaches a lesson to value human life and to appreciate human life and to lead a good life,” Gerbosi said.

Reporter:Sydney Persing
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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