September 14, 2011
On Saturday September 10, Sol Laufer, an 83-year-old Holocaust survivor
, celebrated his bar mitzvah.
When 13, this German native and his family were on the run from the Nazis and couldn't celebrate his coming-of-age ritual. By the time he turned 14, Laufer was being held in a concentration camp.
"I am doing this to proclaim to the Nazis that they did not succeed," Laufer told CNN affiliate WWSB
. "Here I am, after all of that. I am healthy, I have a nice family, and I am having a bar mitzvah."
As the only member of his family to survive
the Holocaust, Laufer said that the thought of his mother was the only thing that kept him alive.
"I used to dream that she was with me, holding me and feeding me water. She would tell me that I would be OK and I need to have patience," he told the source.
Laufer decided to have his bar mitzvah after discussing it with his wife, Sadie, and Rabbi Chain Steinmetz of Sarasota, Florida.
"I almost had a sleepless night last night because of the excitement that fills me. To be able to be a part of this is something I will cherish the rest of my life," the rabbi said.
Laufer now joins his three children and five grandchildren who have all had their coming of age.