100 Metro Detroit Holocaust survivors receive COVID-19 vaccine

Local Holocaust survivors compare past tragedies to coronavirus pandemic

On Friday, about 100 Holocaust survivors received the vaccine from the Oakland County Health Division at Jewish Family Service in West Bloomfield.

The coronavirus pandemic has been frightening for so many people, but some people have no doubt been through worse.

Namely, Holocaust survivors.

There are about 800 Holocaust survivors living in Metro Detroit, and about 100 of them received their coronavirus vaccinations from the Oakland County Health Division at Jewish Family Service in West Bloomfield on Friday.

These survivors have arguably seen the worst of humanity, and their perspective during a deadly pandemic is unparalleled.

“I was the lucky one that I survived,” said survivor Zoltan Rubin. “People should realize they’re here only on borrowed time. It will help not only mentally, but physically.”

Related: Michigan COVID-19 vaccinations: How to find appointments, info on phases

They’ve been through more than most of us ever will, so we wanted their take on what we’re all going through.

“We see people who feel cooped up again, and it’s starting to trigger them of those memories that they had,” said Missy Levin with Jewish Family Service. “We’re also seeing people who are saying ‘this isn’t the Holocaust. We know that we’re going to be safe and we’re able to get out.’”

When they were young, they were targeted by the Nazis. Now, as our elders, they are the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

“You cannot really compare (the coronavirus) to when all of that suffering went on,” said survivor Alfred Zydower. “If you obey all the rules, you wear your mask and you stay at home -- you’ve got nothing to worry about.”

Watch the full report in the video player above.

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About the Author:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism