Judy Cohen defeated Adolf Hitler, and she was at BGSU Firelands last week to tell her story.
And Cohen deserves a big thank-you.
She defeated Hitler and his Nazis by surviving the inhumane conditions of a World War II concentration camp, and she was in Huron to educate students and faculty members from the college and students from area high schools.
Cohen, 78, will never forget the atrocities she, and millions of others, endured and her mission is to make sure we never forget it either.
When United States soldiers liberated the Birkenau concentration camp in 1945 Cohen did not know whether any of her immediate family members had survived. "I was 16 years old and wanted to know if I was still somebody's sister," she told the gathering.
She was still that. A brother and a sister also had survived, but two sisters starved to death in concentration camps, and she never again saw her parents after being separated from them during the initial intakes into the anti-Semitic hell the Nazis had created.
But while Cohen's story is heartbreaking -- completely and utterly -- her purpose and her drive are awe-inspiring. "Never Again" is a motto of Israel that Cohen embraces and she fights hatred and prejudice every day by recounting her experience.
"When I speak, I don't want people to cry or see a victim. I want them to think about making changes so what happened in Hungary and Germany doesn't happen again.
It might be hard not to cry, but it's easy to see that Cohen is no victim.
Thank you Ms. Cohen, and thank you BGSU Firelands for bringing her here to tell her story of triumph.