Harold Minuskin to give keynote at Yom HaShoah Memorial, Sunday at Midbar Kodesh Temple
Holocaust survivor, Harold Minuskin, born in 1938 in Zhetel, Poland, now part of Belarus, will be this year's guest speaker at the Yom Hashoah tribute being held at Midbar Kodesh Temple on Sunday, April 23 at 4:00 p.m. Minuskin was three years old when the Germans invaded his predominately Jewish town with the intent to kill most Jewish citizens.
After the “Selection Process,” the Germans confined the remaining Jews into a ghetto. In 1941, Harold and his mother, father and younger brother survived by escaping from the ghetto into the Belorussian forest where his father joined the Jewish Partisan resistance fighters. From the forest, the Partisans conducted reprisal missions against the Germans, including blowing up German supply trains, bridges and setting up ambushes of German patrols. They conducted these activities with the support of the Russian Army.
At age five, Harold helped his mother build their camouflaged hiding places. When Harold was six years old, he helped load magazines for his father’s machine gun. For almost three years the Minuskin family were hunted and lived in fear, without adequate food, shelter, medicine, or clothing.
The Minuskin family’s experiences are recorded in Harold Minuskin's book "My Children, My Heroes: Memoirs of a Holocaust Mother." This testament to his mother, Sonia, whose incredible survival instincts enabled her to save her two small children, includes his mother’s WW II memoirs plus his own childhood memories and descriptions of partisan battles.
In 2014 Harold published "In the Ghetto and In the Forest," a book based on his cousin Kalman Minukin's memoirs about his experience as a 12-year-old Jewish partisan in the forests of Belorussia.
Since publication of his books, Minuskin and his wife Arlene have addressed over 10,000 students, from middle schools to universities, as well as members of religious and community based organizations. The presentation includes two dramatic readings from both Harold's mother’s and aunt’s memoirs.
Harold Minuskin holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from The City College of New York, a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from California State University at Long Beach, and completion of the Management Program at the University of California at Irvine. For over 50 years, Minuskin worked in his profession at aerospace in commercial and government organizations. In 2011, he retired from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory located in Pasadena, California, where he was employed for 22 years as a Senior Electrical Engineer. JPL is the research center of the California Institute of Technology, undercontract to NASA.