04/25/2014 12:10 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Holocaust Survivor Gene Klein Recounts Haunting Experience Fighting To Stay Alive Against The Nazis

For Gene Klein, surviving Auschwitz required him to view his own personal survival as being a way of fighting back against the Nazis.

"There comes a time during the situation that every human being who has a survival instinct, it sort of kicks in," he told HuffPost Live's Caroline Modarressy Tehrani.

Klein would invoke memories of his family to ensure he "woke up" every morning, while also thinking about what his death would signify on a broader, more political scale.

"If the Nazis kill me, they win. If I stay alive, I do," he said, recalling the mantra that got him through Auschwitz. "So these two things [family and politics] kept me going until I was liberated, after being in the camps a year by Russian soldiers."

Klein's daughter wrote about his Holocaust experiences in her book "We Got the Water: Tracing My Family's Path Through Auschwitz."

Watch the full HuffPost Live segment with Klein and his daughter Jill below:



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