A Fein Commissioner with a Fine Motivation
By THGC Admin
by Melanie Weinberger, THGC Intern
Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commissioner Martin Fein celebrates his birthday this month. He was born in Munich, Germany, and moved to the United States, where he grew up in Kentucky. He went to Indiana University for his undergraduate schooling, where he received a degree in government, and later went to the University of Louisville Law School. He always had an interest in business and real estate, and founded Martin Fein Interests, Ltd. in 1989. He enjoys reading, photography, and traveling. He has traveled all over the world, including to Antarctica twice, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, China, Japan, and various other countries throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. Some of his favorites include Antarctica and Nepal.
Commissioner Fein settled in Houston, Texas in 1973, and has been an active member of the Houston community ever since. He has a deep personal connection with the Holocaust, as both of his parents were survivors. His father survived four concentration camps, while his mother escaped internment with false documents. He says his parents did not talk about their experiences when he was young; both began to share their stories in the 1980s, nearly 40 years after the Holocaust. This was a common experience for the children of Holocaust survivors, known as "Second Generation," and Texas has been active in giving voice to this community.
His hope is that young people and future generations will never let the Holocaust be confined to a remote part of history...
In 1989, Commissioner Fein became the Founding Chair of Holocaust Museum Houston. He joined the Commission, and was soon able to expand Holocaust and genocide education outreach from his position in Houston to a statewide effort. He says he joined the Commission because he knows there are teachers who want to teach about the Holocaust and other genocides, but do not have the resources to do so. At the Commission, he is committed to gathering these resources to provide to teachers, so the future generations can continue to learn about the Holocaust.
Commissioner Fein is devoted to making “Never Again” a reality. He says that while we say “Never Again,” we need to mean it. He believes that there is no end to Holocaust education, and that we must continue to educate. Three beliefs lie at the core of Commissioner Fein’s passion for Holocaust and genocide education: “We must never let our guard down. There will always be people waiting to perpetrate and persecute. We have to educate our children not to be bystanders, but to be upstanders. And finally, we have to remember that one person can make a difference.”
Commissioner Fein believes every person has the ability to look within himself or herself, and truly to be a change-maker. His hope is that young people and future generations will never let the Holocaust be confined to a remote part of history. Holocaust education is as relevant now as ever.
We could not agree more, and we wish Commissioner Fein a great year.Tags: martin fein holocaust holocaust museum houston houston second generation indiana university