At almost 92, Glauben touched by recognition
The Dallas Morning News named Holocaust survivor and human rights activist Max Glauben the 2019 Texan of the Year. The 91-year-old Dallas resident has become a source of hope and inspiration to people in North Texas and all over the world for his message of tolerance, fairness and forgiveness.
The News revealed the honor in its Sunday Opinion section with Glauben on its cover. Glauben’s profile spans five full pages.
On Monday, Glauben said he was on Cloud Nine and overwhelmed. He didn’t expect the extensive coverage when there was a photo shoot at his North Dallas home with his wife, Frieda. He thought that maybe it might be a page and he didn’t know exactly what it was for.
“At a time when hate crimes are rising, Max Glauben reminds us how hope can triumph over fear and kindness can overcome hatred when good people speak out,” said editorial page editor Brendan Miniter.
Glauben explained that many people have looked out for him over the years and doing good deeds is his way of paying it forward.
“I have been doing mitzvot to repay some of the goodness that I received from people, being orphaned and in orphanages. I never expected to [be recognized in such a large way] by it. Evidently, I did make a difference in the life of many, many people. Evidently people were watching,” Glauben said.
He was living in Warsaw with his family when the Nazis invaded in 1939. After spending several years in and out of hiding, they were discovered and deported to the Majdanek concentration camp where his parents and brother were killed. Over the next two years, he lived in four more camps, where he survived and helped his fellow prisoners with his cunning and courage. Glauben was liberated April 23, 1945, by the U.S. Army at the age of 17.
In 1947, he immigrated to the U.S. and joined the Army, serving in the Korean War. When he completed his active duty, he moved to Dallas, where he was a founder and loyal supporter of what was then the Dallas Memorial Center for Holocaust Studies. It is now the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.
Thanks to efforts by Glauben and others like him, the museum expanded and moved to a new home in 2019 that reflects the dreams of Glauben and other Holocaust survivors to educate new generations about human rights.
“We are all so thrilled by this honor that has been bestowed on Max — for our Museum, of course, but more important for all of us who he has touched with his story of hopefulness,” said Frank Risch, Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum board chair. “An Upstander in every way, Max has made our world a better place.”
Glauben remains a prolific speaker in North Texas and for the past 14 years has led a group of youth on a tour of Holocaust sites called March of the Living.
When speaking about the Holocaust he explains that he is inspired by “the souls of the 6 million, including my parents, flying over me. Evidently Hashem and some of the people recognized me and realized that what I was doing was coming naturally without hesitation. I was doing all this not to expect to get what I got.
“I feel like I won the Humane Upstander lottery.”
Glauben and his wife, Frieda, have three children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
“Evidently what I do brings out the best in people. Sometimes, that’s a good guide that we must be doing the right thing. Evidently I made a difference. The angels upstairs and Hashem helped me.”