David Dragon, 93, is a true inspiration to anyone that is lucky enough to hear his story. David is a Holocaust survivor who lost his entire family during the war. At the age of 19 he was captured by Nazi’s and initially taken to Auschwitz. From 1942 to 1945 David was a prisoner that was placed to work to build the crematorium for the camp. In January of 1945 David was transferred to Dachau, where he met his wife. The Americans liberated the camp end of April of 1945. David and his wife both lost all of their families therefore when they left this camp they were all each other had.
After immigrating over the United States, David and his wife built an incredible life together in Illinois. He wanted to ensure that something like the Holocaust would never happen again and therefore has spent most of his life volunteering his time to sharing his story. He has served as a speaker at local grade schools, Universities and Synagogues regarding his story of survival. He also is very involved in the Holocaust Museum in Skokie, IL.
For 70 years David and his wife’s love was unbreakable. Sadly David lost his wife recently, and it has been difficult for him to adjust since he spent most of his time caring for her. David resides at Brookdale Niles in, IL and although he has a lot of support from his community, he does not have any family that lives nearby. Due to losing his family when he was a young man, family has become an incredibly important area in his life. David yearned to have the opportunity to travel to southern California to be reunited with his son, daughter-in-law, and most importantly his grandchildren who he has not seen in several years. Having the opportunity to surround himself with his family gave David the opportunity to feel like he was a part of something once more.
Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale were honored to have the opportunity to send David to spend two weeks in CA to spend time with his family. David was able to speak to students about his experience in the Holocaust at the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles. He also had the opportunity to meet one of Wish of a Lifetime’s other wish recipients, Ernie Braunstein, who also survived the Holocaust himself.
Photographer Credits: Joe Bryant with DaVinci Creative Inc