Minkinow recounts Holocaust fear, escape to Bob Jones audience

Stan Minkinow and Robin Dauma met 15 years ago when he spoke to her class at Discovery Middle School. Minkinow recently shared his survival of the Holocaust with students at Bob Jones High School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Stan Minkinow and Robin Dauma met 15 years ago when he spoke to her class at Discovery Middle School. Minkinow recently shared his survival of the Holocaust with students at Bob Jones High School. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – While banished to the Warsaw Ghetto in World War II, Stan Minkinow remembers praying nightly to ‘wake up and be a German boy’ so his family could be safe and healthy.

Minkinow shared his experience with about 90 Bob Jones High School students.

Robin Dauma, honors and advanced-placement English teacher, integrates a Holocaust study with Elie Wiesel’s, “Night.” Dauma met Minkinow 15 years ago while teaching his granddaughter Anna at Discovery Middle School.

Since 1999, Dauma and Anna have stayed in contact. Dauma’s students interview Minkinow annually.

Stan was Alexander and Sophia Minkinow’s only child. When Stan was nine years old, Gestapo soldiers forced his family to leave their middle-class home in Lodz, Poland and deported them to the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942.

Existing among thousands displaced by Nazis, the Minkinows endured hunger, cold and fear of deportation to concentration camps. Many either died in the ghettos or were shipped to camps.

“The Minkinows escaped the Warsaw Ghetto by bribing a guard and fleeing to a village in the Polish countryside and renting an apartment in someone else’s name,” Dauma said.

Stan’s father was Christian, his mother Jewish. His father was arrested and imprisoned briefly for involvement in the exiled Polish government. “Later, the family was reunited in Berlin. After the war, they spent time in a displaced persons camp,” Dauma said.

“Stan joined the U.S. military in 1948 after seeing an Army recruiting film in Berlin. He had a distinguished 27-year military career and settled in Huntsville after he retired,” she said. In 1981, he founded Alexander’s Jewelry in Huntsville. One of Minkinow’s three children, Kim, works there.

“What did you eat? What did you do all day?,” Bob Jones students asked Minkinow. Some questioned his past and present philosophy — “Did you as a child realize what was happening? How have you staved off resentment toward the Nazis?”

Is ISIS committing Nazi-esque violence, others asked.

Dauma believes contemporary resources can “support passionate teaching of events leading to the Holocaust and … its atrocities.”

Events

Orion Amphitheater kicks off its third concert season tonight

James Clemens High School

James Clemens HOSA overshadows conference competitors

Harvest

It’s Spring! Plant sale returns to Huntsville Botanical Garden

Bob Jones High School

Bob Jones AFJROTC aces first try at obstacle course

Discovery Middle School

Clifton, Francois earn grants to enhance study of German

Bob Jones High School

Fantasy Playhouse summer camps to open in Madison

Discovery Middle School

Hogan Family YMCA to celebrate Healthy Kids Day

Bob Jones High School

Students in grades 3-5 to compete in Bob Jones Science Challenge

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

James Clemens Football Hosting Annual Mattress Sale

James Clemens High School

James Clemens baseball hot at the right time

Discovery Middle School

Register for Summer Spotlight Theatre Camp at James Clemens

Bob Jones High School

Bob Jones hails as section’s top team at Scholastic Chess Championship

James Clemens High School

James Clemens leads at Student Council Association conference

News

Messiah Lutheran’s Rummage Sale turns ‘discards into disaster relief’

Harvest

Madison Academy to present ‘High School Musical – One Act Edition’

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Remembering Tom Monroe- “Johnny Appleseed Of Disc Golf”

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Play Ball ! Trash Pandas Season Set To Open

Madison

City’s work session and special meeting postponed due to weather

Madison

Strong storms predicted for Tuesday; schools to dismiss early

Madison

MVP names Madison Visionary Award recipients

Bob Jones High School

Local Talent Shines In Alabama Baseball Victory At Toyota Field

Bob Jones High School

Bartlett selected as Executive Director of US Chess Federation

Madison

Mill Creek students shine in Elementary Science Olympiad

Madison

Facility dog Daryl comforts, ‘listens’ to children at Midtown elementary

x