©by Leo Adam Biga
In the late 1990s a man I never heard of before, the late Ben Nachman, called to encourage me to start interviewing and profiling Holocaust survivors living in and around Omaha. Ben was a retired Omaha dentist who lost his entire extended family to the Holocaust. He set about a life’s mission to record survivor stories and that journey led him to amass a large collection of books on the topic, to befriend researchers, to become an official Shoah Visual Archive interviewer and to enlist me to capture and publish individuals’ stories. I ended up telling some two dozen Holocaust stories, mostly about survivors but also about rescuers, educators and scholars. I also wrote about Ben’s passion for doing the work he did in bringing Holocaust stories to light. Ben introduced me to many remarkable individuals. Thanks to him I was privileged to share the testimonies of survivors, the heroics of rescuers who saved others and the depths of experiences that shaped the Holocaust.
Several years ago the Institute for Holocaust Education in Omaha acquired some of these stories for visitors to read on its website. In this post are links to those stories and to other Holocaust stories I have written.
Founded in 2000, the Institute has a goal to ensure that the tragedy and history of the Holocaust is remembered. The nonprofit organization provides appropriate, fact-based instruction and materials to students, educators and the public to enhance Holocaust studies in the hope of inspiring communities to create a more just and equitable society.
The IHE has reached hundreds of teachers and more than 100,000 students in Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas with its educational resources, workshops, survivor testimony and integrated arts programming. The Institute also supports Holocaust survivors in our community.
For more information about the Institute’s work, visit–
In addition to the Holocaust stories on the IHE site, here are links to several others I wrote: