Max Glauben lost his family in the Holocaust, and now a thief has stolen some of the only items he has from that dark period of his life. USA Today reported earlier this week Glauben’s car was broken into while parked in front of his Dallas, Texas home. Thieves took two leather satchels containing materials he uses as visual teaching aids in speaking engagements about his Holocaust experience.
The bags, which Glauben had placed in the vehicle’s trunk, held items of no monetary value, but of great sentimental value. Among them were medals, mementos, photos and DVDs — including a film clip the Nazis took of Glauben in 1940.
Paula Nourse, director of marketing and communication at the Dallas Holocaust Museum told The Times of Israel that one of the museum’s supporters has pledged $1,000 reward for the safe return of Glauben’s materials. The museum will accept the returned stolen items, no questions asked.
Glauben, 86, is one of only a handful of Holocaust survivors still giving public testimony in north Texas. He arrived in the United States after the war as an orphan: His parents and brother were killed in Nazi concentration camps.
Glauben, whose “KL” (German initials for “concentration camp”) tattoo is visible on his forearm, was deported with his family from their home in Poland in 1943. He managed to survive six different camps and a death march to Dachau in April 1945 before being liberated by American forces.
The theft of his priceless mementos will not deter Glauben from continuing to share his story. He gets many invitations to speak to local organizations, as well as to school groups that visit the museum.
“He is at the museum two to three times per week giving gallery talks,” said Nourse.
Glauben hopes the thief will do the right thing. However, he remains somewhat skeptical.
“If the person would use it for something, then I’d gladly say I’d kiss them,” he said.
“But what he’s going to do is … throw it in the trash, which is history going down the drain.”