“It Can Happen Again”: Minnesota Holocaust Survivor Speaks on Charlottesville, Surviving and How We Can Stop Hate
Reva Kibort lost her parents and some of her siblings to the Holocaust. She said Charlottesville Brings it all back. KMSP Fox 9 reporter Christina Palladino reports.
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — A Holocaust survivor, chilled by the events in Charlottesville this past weekend.
“I wish I had a picture of my mother but I don’t,” Reva Kibort said. “She died from starvation in the ghetto.”
Almost every time Kibort mentions her mother who she last saw in a Nazi labor camp in Poland, the 84-year-old gets very emotional.
Then the sadness turns to anger when she sees a resurgence of white supremacy groups in cities like Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Tell these young people if they want to know about war let them come and talk to me if they want to know anything about wars so they don’t go march with the swastikas,” Kibort said.
She said as a Holocaust survivor, it’s almost unbearable to even watch the news coverage lately and hear the word Nazi.
“Everything comes back to me when I see those symbols, the swastika,” Kibort said. “Who would have ever thought that we would have seen those again?”
Kibort was born in Poland, the youngest of seven children.
She came to America in 1947 after being liberated.
“My sisters were killed, my grandparents and everybody was killed,” Kibort said. “I told them we have to be tolerant of other people.”
Kibort was 13-years-old when she came to America with one of her surviving sisters.
She didn’t know the language, culture or anyone here.
She lived in a foster home in Minnesota until she met her late husband, also a Holocaust survivor.
“You can never, never forget and you should never think that this cannot happen again,” Kibort said. “You well know it can happen again.”
Kibort said hate is taught.
So she taught her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren that we are all the same.
“Just because we celebrate different holidays, or we look different or speak different you just have to be tolerant,” Kibort said.