You never realize the impact made upon you by one person until it is too late, you never realize the changes the things they tell you make upon your soul, until, one day you look back and see how their actions have shaped you, how they have become pillars to your life. You never appreciate what one person has done for you until they are gone and you can't shape into words everything you now realize.
My Father showed me everything I need to know about life. He was my friend, he was my father, and he was more than that. He was everything to me, and while I can not change what happened, he made me the person I am today.
He taught me about love and sacrifice, but above all he showed me how to live, when it all seemed too much. He showed me the importance of loyalty and he showed me how to make the best out of things, even when there seems to be no hope.
But my Father is not the only person who made me who I am, the Nazi's did too. They taught me more about the world than any one person could have. They taught me about unreasonable cruelty, hate, discrimination. They taught me that the world is not always a good place, full of nice people. They taught me you had to fight, and my father taught me how.
With out my Father I would not be the man I am today, but I would not even be here. Without his help I would not be standing in front of you today, I would be just another victim of the gas chambers, just some more ashes scattered upon the breeze. Without my Father I would not be a man at all, but just another name in another book, marking the passing of a life with cold calculating detachment.
The last thing I have learnt, however, I learnt for myself. I learnt of forgiveness. I don't hate those men, who killed my Father, who imprisoned my Mother and me. I have forgiven them. I pity them I pity what they did. I pity their half lives, with the deaths of millions being held over them, but I don't hate them.
And in some ways I think my forgiveness is worse than my hate. My Hate they could understand, my hate they could explain away with cold hard logic, but forgiveness, something that cant be explained, is something they will never understand.
But it is what I am giving them, no more, no less. And I believe forgiveness is enough.