Holocaust Survivor, to Earning a PhD, to Speaking for the Animals | with Dr. Alex Hershaft | #24

Holocaust Survivor, to Earning a PhD, to Speaking for the Animals | with Dr. Alex Hershaft | #24

Holocaust Survivor, to Earning a PhD, to Speaking for the Animals | with Dr. Alex Hershaft | #24 

Dr. Alex Hershaft, a Holocaust survivor, can still vividly recall seeing the wall being built in Warsaw, Poland when he was just a young man. To hear his story is to understand the power of the spoken word and the importance of story to our history as a species. In this episode, Dr. Hershaft and I discuss his story of being forced into the Warsaw ghetto; his escape from the guards, with the help of a friend; and his eventual move to the United States where he pursued a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry at UCLA. On a business trip to a slaughterhouse, he was faced with a picture that he wasn't expecting, a sight that would impact the remainder of his life. He co-founded the group F.A.R.M. (Farm Animal Rights Movement). I ask Dr. Hershaft some difficult questions in this episode, including why he believes human beings could be a part of such atrocities as the Holocaust, and if he found any pockets of goodness in the world during his horrifying ordeal. His answers the second question are alone worth spending some time listening to this episode. 

On a related but somewhat side note, I introduce my wonderful dog Watson to the audience. It seemed fitting, given how much Dr. Hershaft loves animals. 

For more information about Dr. Hershaft and his work, check out the following links:







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00:00 Introduction

02:23 Watson, the greatest dog in the world

03:04 A story of survival

14:22 Three examples of good in a dark world

24:18 What makes a person turn to evil?

33:17 How norms can fan the flames of hatred

34:14 Why pursue a PhD?

36:11 How a trip to the slaughterhouse changed everything

46:13 The importance of finding community

51:12 Final question: what makes you hopeful?

52:11 I receive a compliment I will never forget

52:45 Closing thoughts and thank you

If you think I did a good job, please, hit the subscribe button, the like button, and share the episode with a friend on your social media accounts. I'm doing my best to preserve meaningful, civil discourse in the world, and I could use some help to get the message out to more people. I am genuinely thankful for the assistance. 


1) Postmodernism and a Joke Gone Too Far: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szjKBcbAW3I

2) Neomodernism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVHMm2A-fcA

3) Podcasting Rhetorics and Joe Rogan | My Conversation with Matthew Jacobson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsOMhCZORts

4) Fighting the War Not Seen | My Conversation with Tim Overton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJjGit4H_Q8

5) Hit Song, Hit Commercial, and Still More to Do | My Conversation with Musician/Actor DC Glenn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DyFYIfEFR4

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#holocaust #alexhershaft #neutralgroundpodcast #history #warsawghetto

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