Nate Leipciger understands the power of hope.
During the Second World War, Mr. Leipciger’s family was imprisoned at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp. At that time, and as a boy entering his teen years, holding on to the belief that he would be reunited with his family motivated him to stay alive. While both he and his father survived, his mother and sister were murdered by the Nazi regime.
Since immigrating to Canada in 1948, Mr. Leipciger has offered his experience as a Holocaust survivor to educate students about war, racism, and the need to actively work to make the world a better place.
On November 19, 2015 Mr. Leipciger brought these messages to over 700 students at Warman High School. The next day, he spoke in Prince Albert at St. Mary High School, and Carlton Comprehensive High School, to over 2,500 students.
During his presentations, he described the similarities between himself and the students. “We have much in common,” said Mr. Leipciger. “A lot of you come from immigrants, like myself, and a lot of you are Indigenous people who have a history not unsimilar to the history of the Jewish nation.”
He challenged the students to do acts of good citizenship in their communities, “Our actions can determine our destiny. We can become whatever we want, we can help the world by being an ‘outstander’ instead of a bystander. When you see injustices happening, you have to speak up.”
Chief Commissioner David Arnot presented Mr. Leipciger with “words matter,” a bound book with the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2013 hate speech judgment and the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission’s factum.
The Prairie Spirit School Division, the Prince Albert Catholic School Division, the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division, Congregation Agudas Israel, Think Good. Do Good., and the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission partnered to make these Holocaust education presentations possible.