PBS special “We’ll Meet Again” features Institute’s role in helping a Holocaust survivor search for a long-lost friend

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 4:05pm

The PBS show "We'll Meet Again" that featured a Holocaust survivor who recently came to USC Shoah Foundation in hopes of reconnecting with the family of another Holocaust survivor he met at a displaced-persons camp in the waning days of World War II is now available for streaming. Originally airing on Nov. 20, the episode can be viewed on the show's website.

In April of 1945, 17-year-old Ben Lesser woke up from a coma at a monastery in Bavaria, Germany, having survived four concentration camps, two death marches and two death trains. Next to him was another Polish Jew, Moshe Opatovski, who, like Lesser, had lost his family.

The two boys became close friends, and made plans to relocate together to Palestine. But when Ben learned that his sister had also survived the war, he agreed to stay with her in Germany and later migrate with her to the United States. He and Moshe parted ways at the camp and lost touch.

Earlier this year, hoping to reconnect with Moshe and his family, Lesser -- now 90 and living in Las Vegas -- came to USC Shoah Foundation at the University of Southern California, whose Visual History Archive containing the video testimonies of more than 50,000 Holocaust survivors is the largest of its kind in the world.

For more information, go to PBS.