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Ken Roman Holocaust Survivor, World War II, Nazi German concentration camps, Romek's Lost Youth The Story of a Boy Survivor, Holocaust Memoir,
Ken Roman in 1945
Ken Roman portrait, Holocaust survivor, invasion of Poland, World War Two, Romek's Lost Youth The Story of a Boy Survivor, holocaust memoir,
Ken Roman (circa 2000)
" Romek's Lost Youth - The Story of a Boy Survivor "   -  About the Author

Ken Roman was my cousin though there were many years differences between our ages.  I knew him well, and admired him greatly as I was growing into adulthood.  Ken was extremely intelligent, and had vast knowledge of practically every subject. He was brilliant.  In my childhood, I attributed his keen sense to a super-power.  He had an uncanny ability to remember even the minutest facts, places, and people. He could remember what route to drive even years after having visited a certain place in another city. Without a doubt, it was his keen intellect and quick-wittedness that helped him to survive the horrors of the work camps, concentration camps, and the terrifying Death March.  

In Ken's book, "Romek's Lost Youth - The Story of a Boy Survivor" Romek reveals details of his early formative years and life with the family in Gorlice, Poland. He had a happy and idyllic childhood. He was not spoiled though he was born into a life of privilege and comfort.  At a very young age he valued education and loved to learn. But all that changed when the Nazis invaded Poland in September 1939. Romek described the general mood of the local townspeople to the news, as well as that of the family. Nobody expected then what was to happen. 

Throughout the years, Ken visited us numerous times, and each occasion was one of joy and celebration. Ken loved life and he was often smiling, sharing a joke (in Polish or German) with my father, or singing a much-loved song he remembered before the war.  Indeed he had a beautiful melodious voice.  He led a highly social active life, entertaining friends, and travelling the world.

Ken's life truly became blessed, but the scars of the war were deeply ingrained in his soul.  It was a trauma that would forever haunt him.

"Romek's Lost Youth-The Story of a Boy Survivor" is a recent publication in the genre of holocaust memoirs. Though there are hundreds of other memoirs of this genre, they are not all alike. They differ as much as the personalities, origins, and backgrounds of the survivors who wrote them. 

This memoir was very important to Ken, and his friend and collaborator John James. Though I was not aware of it at the time, they made the rounds to British publishers hoping for an offer, but it was for naught.  Apparently, publishers grew tired of holocaust memoirs and even remarked there were too many on the market!  Oh, my goodness!  Too many memoirs?  I believe that there are not enough holocaust memoirs!

I have noticed that many people even regard history in general with the same disdain. Their feeling is that past should be forgotten and buried and life goes on.  That is sad, but also dangerous. We must not forget history nor the Holocaust.  Ignorance is dangerous. What we do not know of history may lead to our downfall. We have all heard the saying, "history repeats itself". ( It is true and happening now in Ukraine.)

All holocaust memoirs should be valued as historical documents. They are testimonies to events which no other resource material can provide. History books alone cannot tell the whole story. These memoirs must be included

into the school curriculum to be read by every student, in every school.  There is no excuse for ignorance. Not now, as anti-semitism is rising again.  Now is the time to watch, and speak out.  

In his later years, Ken had been invited to speak to students about the Holocaust. He cautioned them,


      " It is you the new generation who must be vigilant, not to allow                 Racism, Religious Intolerance to poison and spread hatred.

         To make sure that WE REMEMBER FOR THE FUTURE" that the               HOLOCAUST never happens again. "

Ken Roman passed away in August 2016.  He was 90 years of age.

Note: Photographs are under copyright protection, and must not be copied without permission from the publisher.  Not to be used for commercial purposes.

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