Choices – An Excerpt From “Living A Life that Matters: From Nazi Nightmare to American Dream”


In January, I was asked to speak at the Summerlin Library in Las Vegas. I always welcome opportunities to share my story and spread the message of remembrance. It’s the cornerstone of The ZACHOR Holocaust Remembrance Foundation I founded, and helps to ensure that future generations never forget what happened during some of the darker days of our history.

Before I took the stage to speak to a full house, I was introduced to the audience and an excerpt of my book, “Living a Life that Matters: From Nazi Nightmare to American Dream” was read.

Today, I want to share that very excerpt.

Living a Life that Matters: From Nazi Nightmare to American Dream

pg. 4-5

“…For the last 20 years, I have dedicated myself to learning and teaching about how the Holocaust could have happened and its impact on humanity. In this sometimes painful but always enlightening process, I have learned a great deal both about human nature, and about myself.

I have come to understand that so much of what happens in life is a result of seemingly simple human choices.

A person can choose to hate. A person can choose not to use hateful speech. Hitler did not start with weapons. He started with hate. And then he proceeded to use hateful speech. A person can choose to not become a perpetrator or a bystander, an oppressor cannot succeed on his or her own. When someone is being victimized – whether by a school-yard bully or a maniacal national leader – those who are not victims make the choice to join the bully or to become the bystander who does nothing.

I am grateful that I have the opportunity to not only speak up about what happened, but also to inspire others to recognize the conditions – and choices – that might lead up to – or hopefully – prevent – genocide.

As a result of my many presentations to schools, religious organizations and community groups, I have seen that on a historical level, far too many people of all ages have no real idea about what happened to the Jewish people of Europe before, during, and after the Third Reich (1933-1945). And despite those who would deny the existence of the Holocaust, there are many people who are hungry to know the truth about this savage time. I realize that many people do not understand that they have the power to make choices that will determine the course of their lives. In response to their questions, heartfelt interest, and commitment to take action, I decided to put my experiences in writing so that after I am gone, my stories, my choices, and the lessons they teach, will continue.”

__ __ __

Learn More About My Story

In this engaging, inspiring, and educational Holocaust survivor memoir, I invite you to revisit a time in history when the world went mad.

It is my goal to not only serve as a teacher, but also to bear witness to the past, teaching students of all ages the important values of tolerance, democracy, respect for human dignity, and decency. Learn about the importance of overcoming hate, sorrow and tragedy and how my determination to achieve my dreams can help inspire readers of all ages.

Today, as the world is struggling with hate, we need messages of hope and inspiration. Living a Life That Matters: From Nazi Nightmare to American Dream does just that. Read it at home, or share it at school or in an organization to help educate more people and encourage them to fight hate.

Proceeds from my book go directly to ZACHOR and help continue our mission to never forget and overcome hatred.

Book & DVD

Available in paperback, 8-CD Set, Audiobook Download & E-book.

Order you copy today at shop ZACHOR

To learn more about Ben LesserZACHOR or our youth campaign I-SHOUT-OUT to stop intolerance, visit:

Want to book a speaking engagement? Please email: 


One thought on “Choices – An Excerpt From “Living A Life that Matters: From Nazi Nightmare to American Dream”

  1. We heard you speak last night at Pinecrest Academy. You are a true hero, both for surviving the most horrific places ever created, and for sharing your experiences so we never forget. Thank you for allowing me – and others – to learn from you.


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