An Honorable Mention
Del Monte Realty agent, Courtney Carter, had the great pleasure of meeting and helping a very special and memorable client sell his family home. We loved learning his story and it is an honor to introduce you to Ben, a Jewish Holocaust survivor and long-time Memorial resident, Ben Waserman.
"I was so lucky to have met Ben through a referral before having any idea who he was. When I looked up his name, I was flooded with articles of a real-life war hero and survivor of the holocaust, living right here in Memorial!"
At our first meeting, we became instant friends. I remember telling him at our first coffee date - “Ben, even if you don’t end up using me for a realtor, I would really love it if we could be friends”. He smiled and said “I would like that very much”.
A Small Glimpse: Ben's Story
Ben was born in Berlin, Germany on June 21, 1929. By the time he was 13 he had spent years hiding from the Nazis. In 1941, his father was arrested and sent to Buchenwald, where he perished. About a year later, Waserman, his mother, and brother were shipped to Theresienstadt, a transit stop to extermination camps. It was there that Waserman was herded aboard a train to Auschwitz. His mother's courage in begging for his life, he said, saved him from death.
After completing his interrupted high school education, Ben joined the Air Force and served two overseas tours of duty with the Air Force. He served six years and two overseas tours in the Pacific and in Korea, where he flew 75 combat missions and earned a Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals and a United Nations Medal.
Ben married in 1955 and reared a family of two children in the Memorial area. He didn’t retire until he was in his late 80’s - only after he could no longer handle the work load while taking care of his wife in declining health. He lost her only a few years ago. The two of them were ballroom dancers together until his wife was no longer healthy enough to stand!
"I adjusted very well" he said, noting that the momentum of his career and raising a family carried him past his pain. But he never spoke of the Holocaust to his children until they were well into their teens.
Waserman is active with the Houston Holocaust Museum and often visits public schools to share his memories. "Most of them are in the 14- to 15-year age group," he said. "I talk about my experiences and let them ask questions. It's difficult for me, but it's a necessary thing. They need to know what can happen when a dictatorial government gets out of hand".
What a gift and immense honor to have crossed paths, ever so briefly, with our new hero, Ben!