As Sidney Finkel walked past the Holocaust Memorial at the Jewish Community Center in the Foothills, he listened to the water in the fountain.

No wonder people say that it didnt happen, because its hard to imagine that it did happen, he said, referring to the six million Jews that died during the Holocaust.

Walking past it, a flood of memories came to him, especially when looking at all the names of the towns the Nazis destroyed during the Holocaust.

He was only six when the Nazis invaded his hometown Piotrkow, Poland in 1939.

I was kind of a kid that thought everything was a lot of fun. I looked at the German occupation of our hometown and cleaned their horsesThat was the regular soldiers but not when the Nazis came in, he said.

When the Nazis came, they took away schools, leaving Finkel without a place to get an education.

I was basically illiterate. but Im really proud to have the opportunity of being able to tell you guys how I feel, he said.

It wasnt long before the Nazis forced his family into a ghetto, but later they started to take Jews to places that were even worse.

35,000 Jewish people that were living in my hometown. They were all, with the exception of 2 thousand, were all put on a train and sent to a place called Trenblinka where they were murdered, he said.

Almost his entire town was gone, and it was just weeks later, at only 10 years old when Finkel, his dad and brother were taken to a slave labor camp in Bugaj, Poland.

When he was 11 years old, he was loaded onto a cattle car and said he went to one that was even worse in Czestochowa, Poland.

We knew from the people that went there and escaped and came back. We knew there was death, he said.

When he was 12, he and his father Lieb went to the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. It was only a few weeks later that his father was moved to another camp where he later died.

I was completely lost because I was by myself. This was the first time that I was away from my father, he said.

Later in life he found out that his mom and one of his sisters also died, but he didnt know it at the time.

A day before the people in Buchenwald were freed by the Americans, he was marched and put onto open cars before going to another concentration camp in Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia. Thats where he got typhus and almost died, but it was there that he also reunited with his brother Issac and sister Lola.

Still 12 years old, he was finally freed along with his brother and sister in 1945. He and his brother then went to Windermere, England.

However, it wasnt until 1993, almost 50 years after the Holocaust ended, that he told his story for the first time after visiting the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

I was really moved. I started to cry when I saw the trains, he said.

He started going into schools and telling students his story.

Later on in life he wrote the book Svek and the Holocaust: The Boy Who Refused to Die, a testament to his powerful journey.

On the cover youll find a picture of him in the middle, a picture he hadnt ever seen until he saw it one day at a random bookstore.

Back in the Foothills in Tucson, as he looked up at the Holocaust memorial, he again thought back to all the hundreds of hundreds of small towns that were eliminated by the Nazis.

Its what he hopes people remember when they visit the memorial.

When asked about what he hopes future generations remember after all the Holocaust survivors have passed, he said A government can instigate the murder of whole cant just be a bystander. You have to see when things are wrong and open your mouth.