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      Growing up with Holocaust survivors

      Monday April 8, 2013 is Holocaust Remembrance Day. It was placed on the Jewish calendar 60 years ago, and now it has become a day remembered throughout the world.

      On Monday, Northern Michigan University students got a chance to listen to Lev Raphael's experience of growing up with parents who survived the Holocaust.

      "They did talk about it, but it was too painful for them to talk about. Once they started opening up about it, they started to cry and they'd have to shut down so I didn't get a lot of information from them, actually, until I started writing my own book," said Lev Raphael.

      His book is titled "My Germany" and as Raphael spoke to students learning about the Holocaust, he told them it was not easy growing up in a home with Holocaust survivors.

      "Children of survivors feel as if the Holocaust happened to them because the pain and the trauma is passed on in lots of different ways that they don't even realize, and so they're living in households that are shattered by disaster," Raphael said.

      During his presentation, students were able to ask Raphael questions and share what they learned.

      "It's really interesting to hear from someone who has had firsthand experience and knows his parents, and he's discovered their stories and he's researched," said Kelsey Ferguson, junior.

      Raphael says even though the Holocaust is over, people are still being murdered based on their ethnicity.

      "Genocide doesn't just end and begin on specific dates and at specific times. It has echoes throughout history and it affects people in ways that you can't always expect," Raphael said.

      Raphael will read excerpts from his memoir "My Germany" Monday at 7 p.m. at NMU's University Center in the Lake Erie room.