On this day 57 years ago—New Year’s Day, 1957—Holocaust survivor Dr. Robert Fisch sailed into New York Harbor. He had been persecuted in his homeland of Communist Hungary and likely would have been executed for his role in the 1956 Revolution there. Thirty-seven years later, in 1993, he received a medal of honor from the president of Hungary for his heroic actions in the liberation of Hungary.
January 1, 1957, was a joyous and auspicious day for Dr. Fisch, but it was only day one of a long and difficult process that finally led to true freedom. He explains why in the poignant and moving Introduction in his book, The Metamorphosis to Freedom.
You are most likely one of the fortunate people who were born in freedom. Only a fraction of people throughout history have been that lucky. I was not one of them.
When I was a young man in Hungary, the Nazis imprisoned, deported and killed Jewish people—including my father and many other members of my family—simply because they were Jews. Then the Communists took over my country and told me where and ow I could practice medicine, for by then I had become a doctor.
I rebelled against the Communists, escaped from Hungary and eventually came to the United States.
I waited a long time for freedom, but it did not come when (more…)