'Courageous' author shares his story

December 7, 2008 Roman R. Kent is a survivor - in every sense of the word. Born in Lodz, Poland, in the years just prior to World War II, he was a carefree child enjoying the innocence of his youth until September 1939 when his world collapsed at the hands of the Nazis.

Only Roman, his sister Renia, and his brother Leon survived the brutality of the Lodz Ghetto, Auschwitz, Mertzbachtal, Dornau and Flossenburg concentration camps.

Kent arrived in the United States in 1946 as a teenager, under the auspices of the children's quota of the United States Government's "Displaced Persons Act." He was sent to Atlanta where he attended Emory University and began his business life going from town to rural town selling women's clothing out of the back of a second-hand car.

Through sheer tenacity, he and his partners were able to generate enough income to begin importing goods from the Far East which grew the business significantly to become a successful textile and dinnerware company. In addition to his business success, Kent is a tireless participant in both community and world affairs and has been involved in everything from real estate to producing an award-winning film, Children of the Holocaust.

A leader of the Holocaust survivor movement, Kent has been a vocal advocate for survivors all over the world. Among other noteworthy affiliations, he is chairman of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors; treasurer of the Claims Conference; and vice president of the International Auschwitz Committee.

Near and dear to his heart is his affiliation with the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous of which he is president. This organization recognizes and supports non-Jews who hid and/or rescued Jewish people during the Holocaust. He has also been a confidant and advisor to presidents, senators, congressmen, ambassadors, and foreign leaders while fighting for justice and morality for all mankind, particularly his fellow survivors.

Kent lives in New York City with his wife, Hannah. They have two children and three grandchildren.

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