Holocaust Survivors I Have Met

One of whom was famous

Shefali O'Hara
5 min readMay 5, 2024
Photo by Eelco Böhtlingk on Unsplash

I grew up in New York City.

I went to high school at Stuyvesant, which is a magnet school for gifted students. Because of our reputation we sometimes had famous or important people visit us.

Because I went to Stuyvesant and I was the editor-in-chief of one of the school’s publications, I was invited as part of a group to meet Barbara Feldman, who played 99 on Get Smart. She signed an autograph for me before she left and told me that she wrote poetry.

I was also invited to a brunch hosted by the wife of the President of Israel at her suite in the Waldorf Astoria. The table in the elegant dining area was large enough for all twelve of us as well as Mrs. Herzog and her staff.

However, the person I met who made the biggest impact — Robert Clary.

He played LeBeau on Hogan’s Heroes, which I loved because it made my father laugh. So I was quite excited when he visited our school and gave a speech.

However, I don’t remember him talking about his film career. I do remember him talking about the Holocaust.

He was living with his family in Paris when he was deported, along with his family, to Nazi concentration camps. He was 16 at the time, just a year older than I was when I met him.



Shefali O'Hara

Cancer survivor, writer, engineer. BSEE from MIT, MSEE, and MA in history. Love nature, animals, books, art, and interesting discussions.