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Helping the World See

By: Becky Seitel
Survivor: Herzel, Max

In 1979, Max Herzel became a member of the Lions Club International, the world’s largest service organization, recognized for its service to the blind and visually impaired.

Today, Max remains actively involved as a Lion and is District Governor of Alabama District 34-O. He was recently name a Melvin Jones Fellow, the Lions’ highest form of recognition for an individual’s dedication to humanitarian service in his community and in the world community.

“I especially enjoy being a part of our project to recycle used eyeglasses,” says Max who helps collect glasses and delivers them to the recycling center to be sorted and sent on vision missions to Latin America.

The many pairs of glasses surrounding Max each day are a fraction of those that were stripped from Jews entering concentration camps and sent to “Aryan” Germans.

First Lady Laura Bush, in a talk at the 10th Anniversary of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, recalled seeing a mountain of such glasses.

What moved me the most were the thousands of eyeglasses, their lenses still smudged with tears and dirt.

It struck me how vulnerable we are as humans, how many needed those glasses to see, and how many people living around the camps and around the world refused to see.

We see today, we know what happened, and we will never forget.