Mr. Max Herzel, a Holocaust survivor, spoke with Jacksonville High School’s eighth grade students on Tuesday, February 12. Mr. Herzel was born in 1930 in Antwerp, Begium. Upon the invasion of France, he and his family was sent to the internment camp of Agde and then later to Rivesaltes. The family escaped to Marseilles but was soon separated, and Max was sent to several orphanages and eventually to a remote farm in the French Alps. His father died in Buchenwald concentration camp, but Max was eventually reunited with his brother and mother. He immigrated to the United States in 1948, settled in New York, and served in the US Air Force. he married Cecille Herman in 1955, has two children, and currently resides in Birmingham, where he was an executive with the Veterans Administration Medical Center and a past Lions Club District Governor. Mr. Herzel received a B.A. Degree from Florida State University and attended Graduate School at Sonoma State College in California and Wright State University in Ohio. He also graduated from the Health Services Administrative Development Program from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Mr. Herzel is currently serving as the treasurer of the Alabama Holocuast Commission and of the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center.
Tegan Singleton expressed her thoughts about the program by saying, “It was really interesting how he dealt with the stress and fear of knowing that people were after him and wanted him gone.”Raine Harris said that the best part of the program was “knowing when and how he escaped from the Nazis.”Nic Gangwer’s reaction to the program was “I thought that it was very
brave of him living each day, knowing that one day he may get caught. He lived in fear... it takes a lot of bravery to live each day like that.