As a young German boy Henry Oster survived deprivation
in the Lodz Ghetto, a life-or-death selection in
the Birkenau extermination camp, a firing squad
in Auschwitz, being strafed by an Allied fighter,
and starvation in Buchenwald. Henry rebuilt his
life in America, arriving at 18 with no family, no
English, no money and no education. Of 2,011 Jews
uprooted from Cologne, Germany in 1941, he is
the only survivor. He was still working as
a world-respected Professor of Optometry on his
89th birthday, helping the world to see.
Dexter Ford is a Contributing Editor to The New
York Times. He writes about history, aviation,
adventure travel, motorcycles, the auto industry, transportation, architecture and sustainable energy. He has flown upside-down with the Blue Angels, ridden motorcycles through Russia, across China, over the Alps and the Andes, and dived at night, alone, with car-sized manta rays.
The most inspiring story he has ever heard—
and ever told—is that of his friend Henry Oster.