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Twenty years ago Fisch, the father of one grown daughter, began to look outward. Nothing would change for the better, he realized, until we knew our collective history and started talking to each other, “even if we don’t agree. We are not different.”
Or too different.
Fisch began talking to schoolchildren and found hope in their honesty and genuine curiosity. They were grateful for this unusual man, too. Fisch has received letters from children saying, “ ‘Nobody ever talks to us the way we can talk with you.’ ”
He wrote his first book in 1994, titled “Light from the Yellow Star: A Lesson of Love from the Holocaust.” The small but powerful book recounts his story and features his illustrations, beginning as airy and colorful sketches, then shifting to horrific images of choking red and black smoke. The final images are in color again. Fisch always ends with hope.
His most recent book, “The Sky Is Not The Limit” is a collection of his wit and wisdom.
I’ve pinned my favorite Fisch-ism to my bulletin board at work: “Life is full of problems, with occasional intermissions.”
Fisch, who was knighted for heroism by the Hungarian government in 2000, prefers to focus on, and cherish, those intermissions.
“We must remain humane, even when we face inhumane experiences,” he said. “When I die, I want to look back and know that I did the right thing.”
Natalie Ghaffari, a senior at Eastview High School in Apple Valley, contributed to this column. Natalie is participating in School District 196’s Mentor Program.
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