When Samuel Haas first learned of his forefathers’ actions in the war he wasn’t very interested. “But I noticed that I also had many prejudices against Jews. I made jokes about Jews and that seemed normal in my surroundings. But I began to wonder why?”
After researching his history further he learned that all four of his great-grandfathers were Nazis. One printed propaganda material, while the others were Wehrmacht soldiers, moving through Europe murdering and pillaging.
“That shook me, not only because I realized what my relatives did to the Jewish people, but also because I knew that it has something to do with me personally. It existed in me too, it wasn’t just in the past and I needed to do something about it.”
Haas began to give lectures in his school, changing also the staff’s attitudes. “Even a teacher that previously told me that there is no more anti-Semitism nowadays, that it’s only a problem of the Nazi era, was very thankful when I spoke out. I told my story and everyone else began doing the same. They asked at home, they did research and they dealt with this issue not like it was another history lesson, but as something that relates directly to them.”