Holocaust Survivors Reunite in Florida After a Labor Camp Friendship was Broken 80 Years Ago

Sam Ron and Jack Waksal credit Red Banyan

Those who say there’s no such thing as destiny need to meet Jack Waksal and Sam Ron, victims who met during the Holocaust, and who met again 79 years later in South Florida.

Having endured slave labor shoulder to shoulder in the Pionki Labor Camp in Poland, the two were separated after Waksal escaped into the forest, and Ron was moved to a different camp that was ultimately liberated.

Neither knew the other had survived, until Waksal attended a United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s South Florida Dinner last Sunday, and found his old camp comrade to be the guest speaker. Introduced by his former name of Shmuel Rakowski, Waksal felt as if he was seeing a fraternal brother.

“He jumped off the seat and came running over to my seat and says you’re my brother, I was very emotional, I’m normally not a very emotional guy,” Ron explained, according to NBC Miami.

Just teenagers at the time of their imprisonment, the two managed to both immigrate to the United States, specifically to Ohio, where they both lived for 40 years unaware of each other’s existence before eventually moving to South Florida.