Ben Lesser, a prominent voice among Holocaust survivors, was hesitant before meeting the grandson of a Nazi commander responsible for the deaths of his family members at Auschwitz. But when the two men spoke over the phone in January 2015, they became friends.
In a conversation with HuffPost Live host Josh Zepps, Lesser spoke about his unlikely friendship with Rainer Höss, who he found to be on a parallel mission to promote peace and understanding in the face of hatred.
"It was quite a moving experience," Lesser said about his initial chat with Höss. "We felt like we both are doing the same thing, and we have something in common. We have a mission in this world, and this is to keep this world from acquiring amnesia. We felt closeness because of this."
The 86-year-old also wrote about the friendship in a blog post, saying the two were partnering on a campaign against intolerance and hoping to garner six million signatures "for the six million souls who were silenced."
"Rainer’s courage in communicating his experiences as a German and as the grandson of a mass-murderer, helps us to understand that he and his generation are not responsible for what their predecessors did," Lesser wrote. "That he feels a responsibility to bring truth to the world, is testimony to his integrity."
Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Ben Lesser here.
Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live's new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!