He wouldn't talk about it at first, even to his children.
Hank Brodt, who died in 2020 at the age of 94, survived five Nazi prison camps as a teenager.
His hometown of Boryslaw, Poland, was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1941. Once separated from his family, Brodt never saw them again.
The beatings, starvation, the dying all around him. The sickening and steady crematorium smoke.
"You lived day to day," Brodt said in 2015, with a still-thick Polish accent.
Temple Emanuel, which Brodt joined after moving to Guilford County in 2005, shared a link for Holocaust Remembrance Day on Facebook of Brodt performing "Tell me where shall I Go?" The song, often sung in the Concentration Camps, was performed in 2018 during the Erev Yom Hashoah ceremony at the Krakow Concert Hall.
"There wasn't a dry eye in the place," commented someone from Greensboro who was at the concert hall.
Brodt sang at Sabbath services at Temple Emanuel. And starting in 2006, he accompanied teens from Greensboro on the International March of the Living to Poland and Israel. Brodt also worked closely with the NC Holocaust Commission.
Brodt was among survivors liberated from Camp Ebensee in Austria on May 6, 1945, by the U.S. 80th Infantry Division and would later immigrate to this country.
He was called to testify during Nazi war crime trials.
And he left the stories there.
It wasn't until the retired carpenter, who served a stint in the U.S. Army, moved to High Point and joined Temple Emanuel that Rabbi Fred Guttman encouraged him to speak up.
"He said, 'You are not speaking for yourself. You are speaking for the people who died who cannot tell the story,"' Brodt said.
So he shared the stories, including working in a rock quarry at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. The guards there repeatedly forced him to heave a boulder upon his shoulder. He was forced to carry it up 154 steps and drop it back down into the quarry.
He also told the story of his sister leaving her 3-month-old daughter on the grounds of a Christian orphanage to save her life.
"I will go as long as my legs will carry me," Brodt said.
In 2007, after giving up the search for family members, Brodt learned that his brother had also survived the Holocaust. He was able to reunite with his brother's wife and sons, who lived in Israel.