Estrin works to inspire others to say ‘never again’ about the Holocaust

David Estrin — founder and CEO of Together We Remember — spoke to an audience of students, faculty and community members Tuesday evening in Heidelberg University’s Wickham Great Hall as part of the annual Lichtman-Behm Genocide Lecture series.

As the grandson of four Holocaust survivors, the keynote speaker for Heidelberg University’s annual Lichtman-Behm Genocide Lecture Series worked to invoke the memory of his family to inspire others to say “never again.”

David Estrin is the founder and CEO of the Together We Remember organization, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering the next generation of leaders to make “never again” a reality.

Together We Remember was established in 2017 and was formed previously while he attended Duke University.

Estrin is the grandson of Jimmy Lichtman, the survivor of the Holocaust who the Heidelberg lecture series is named after. In 1942, Lichtman was expelled from school for being Jewish, and two years later, he was sent to the ghetto. From there, he landed in Auschwitz and later, the Mauthausen/Gusen concentration camps in Austria, where he and his father were forced to perform slave labor.

While being shown documents of prisoners who were in the concentration camp with his grandfather, Estrin soon became fascinated with names and on Holocaust Remembrance Day he and other students read the names of those killed for 10-hours. That project soon turned into a 24-hour event reading 50,000 names — names of not just those lost in the Holocaust but other global atrocities.

In 2015 Estrin began to see a rise in hatred and soon knew he had to step in to stop the injustice happening. Through research and thought Estrin began to create the Together We Remember movement.

By 2048, on the 100th anniversary of the Holocaust, Estrin said he hopes to see the end of genocide.

“I know it is a bold vision, but until there are no names to be read there is still work to be done,” Estrin said.

Since its establishment, Together We Remember has incorporated over 100 programs in nine countries in many different types of communities.

Estrin has shared the story of his family and work with schools, universities, museums, faith centers and other community-based institutions nationwide, including the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, city leaders in Charlottesville, Virgina, and the United Nations in New York City.