The beauty of life is that the future is unknown. We make plans but then something occurs that changes our plans. Today I am speaking to a man that has had a life that was lived with great fear and was able to escape and build a life of purpose and quality. His name is Severyn Ashkenazy the founder of the L’Ermitage Hotel. He has a new book out called SWORDS OF THE VATICAN, Reflections of a Witness to Evil.
Read about how he survived the Holocaust and his message to all the readers. His book can be found at E-book at Amazon
David: Hello, thank you for taking the time out to speak to me. Congratulations on your book. What inspired you to write the book?
Severyn: My father was a Bible scholar so I learned much from him. He taught me how to learn and because I always enjoy learning something new, I have also enjoyed growing my scope of knowledge.
I realized that few people know what I know about history so I wanted to put this in a book. The French poet Pierre Corneille said, “Truth is often not believable.” This is more true today than ever before. Some people are deniers and do not believe the Holocaust happened. Because I was there and witnessed it in person I know it is real, the Holocaust really happened. My book will help bring facts to light. The reasons behind how and why such a horrible time in history could have happened in the first place is a large part of my book.
David: Why is this book important in today’s world?
Severyn: In today’s world the truth is more available on the Internet so people should take advantage of what is true. Yet, in today’s world we always have to fact check. Because I spent years and years of research, I feel confident the truth about history is correct in my book.
David: If you can go back in time what would you tell yourself during that period of the Holocaust?
Severyn: Just survive. Day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute it was only about survival. We were in a dark, damp cellar for two years and always worried that we would be discovered. Thankfully, we made it.
David: What is the message of your book?
Severyn: Every reader will take their own message from this book. I wrote what I know to be true so the book will help the interested reader to discover facts that they probably never knew. Most people do not know that before he became the Pope, Pious XII while living in Germany, he handed cash to Hitler. Most people do not know that Mussolini had a hand in establishing the Vatican as a state. And so on. There are many historical facts in my book that will surprise people.
David: What have you learned about yourself in writing the book?
Severyn: I felt that had something to say. I want to add to people’s understanding of what is true so that the book can enlighten.
David: What has been the biggest obstacle in your life?
Severyn: Whatever obstacle I faced has been a means to inspire me to remove every obstacle and live.
David: What has been the most rewarding part of your life?
Severyn: My children. Without a doubt.
David: What advice do you have for people facing adversity?
Severyn: Ignore other people’s opinions of yourself. You are who you are and if you ignore the negative opinions from others you will be better off. There is a play by the famous playwright Jean-Paul Sartre, “No Exit.” The play ends with this sentence “Hell is other people.”
David: What do you wish for the upcoming generation?
Severyn: I wish for this generation and the next that they should survive the evil that continues to persist. We still see man’s inhumanity toward man. This is something we all need to work on.
David. Thank you for your time. What are your words of wisdom for all the readers?
Severyn: Read my book. There is no substitute for truth based on facts.
Photos: Courtesy of Severyn Ashkenazy unless otherwise noted.