“Being the grandchild of survivors, I carry both the burdens and the responsibilities of remembering the Holocaust within me.”

Jessica Glatt’s family history is that of pain and triumph.

Both her grandmother and grandfather were survivors of the Holocaust. 

And the fact that they lived to see the birth of their great-granddaughter, Harli, was such a hallmark for the family that they decided to honor the meeting with a photo.

The image was in black and white and featured Harli holding her great-grandfather’s arm.

His concentration camp tattoo is visibly imprinted on his skin, which was drawn on him when he was barely a teenager.

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baby holding a person's arm
Baby cradles great-grandfather’s arm.

In an essay shared with Kveller in 2015, Glatt shared that her grandfather Max Durst was his family’s sole survivor of the Holocaust.

He experienced concentration camps like Auschwitz and Ebensee, where he ended up getting liberated.

Glatt’s grandmother Anna Durst was also her immediate family’s sole survivor and spent the war hiding from the Nazis in dangerous conditions.

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Despite the Dursts experiencing the “inexplicable,” Glatt notes that they survived.

“And these two incredible individuals, my grandparents, Max and Anna Durst, not only survived, but they have flourished. They have three children, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren,” Glatt penned in Kveller.

Glatt’s grandfather was initially a bit reluctant to have the photos of his tattooed arm captured with Harli. Still, she felt it encapsulated the “beautiful” and “painful” party of history and the future interwoven.

Harli, the baby in the photo, is now 13-years-old. 

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Although Harli’s great-grandfather died in 2017 before his 90th birthday, his legacy is still alive and well.

Her great-grandmother has dementia, but she is still active and enjoys spending time with her family, even if she doesn’t always remember who everyone is.

According to TODAY, Harli educates schools about the Holocaust as she shares her grandparents’ harrowing and triumphant stories.

She also recently had a bat mitzvah, a coming-of-age celebration in Judaism.

“Bat” means “daughter” in Hebrew, and “mitzvah” translates to “commandment” or “law.” So “bat mitzvah” means “daughter of commandment.”

Glatt lives in New Jersey with her husband, Brian, and their children.

After the photo of her grandfather and daughter Harli was shared on the Kveller Facebook page, Glatt told TODAY that she didn’t know how her grandparents would respond to it going viral as they didn’t really talk about their experiences in the Holocaust.

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However, it turns out they were “moved” by people’s positive reception.

“The fact that all of the wonderful comments and likes were coming in from people of all different religions and ethnicities made it even more touching for them,” Glatt told TODAY.

She added: “My grandmother told me that she had tears in her eyes as she and my grandfather read through the comments until they couldn’t stay awake any longer,” said Glatt.

Glatt initially shared the photo in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah).

She further hopes that the photo of Harli and her grandfather will remind the globe not to forget the six million people lost in the tragedy several decades ago.