Bill Lin

was born in Poland just a few years after WWII. His parents were holocaust survivors. Most of their families perished. Bill has some childhood memories of post-war life in Communist Poland, including incidents of antisemitism. His family immigrated to Israel during the 1950’s, and eventually immigrated to the United States in 1960. Bill and his wife moved to WNY in 1977, and raised their family in Amherst. Bill recently retired from the Computer Information Systems department at Buffalo State College.

Bill Lin - bill lin sm2

Summary of Presentation

Survivors offer the most powerful testimonies and reflections, however, the numbers of survivors and direct witnesses are dwindling. Succeeding generations thus have a role to play. Bill is a member of what is sometimes referred to as the “2nd generation”. He thus tells his parents’ stories.

Many survivors were not able to talk about their horrific experiences, and took their thoughts and memories to the grave without ever being able to share with others. Bill’s father lost his entire family, and very little is known about his side of the family. Bill’s mother was able to put some of her memories on paper. Bill uses excerpts from her memoir to tell about her personal Journey, about the destruction of much of her family, and about picking up the pieces after the war.

The experiences and suffering of ordinary people during this tragic and tumultuous period of time educate us about the consequences of intolerance, bigotry, and ignorance. Some survivors were able to speak for themselves. Other survivors may sometimes speak to us through stories, expressed by other voices.


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