ROCKFORD (WIFR) - Barney Sidler became is a successful self-made businessman. Many people can say that but why Sidler's case is unique is because he did all that with hardly an education after surviving the Holocaust as a child.
Sidler was born in Poland to a Jewish family right before World War II. When German Nazis took over his country Sidler as a child spent years moving from Jewish Ghettos to labor camps before being liberated in 1945.
After an ordeal where the young boy lost his father and countless other family members he and his family migrated to the United States and the rest is history.
Sidler shared his story with dozens of people at Rockford University today as the Jewish Federation of Rockford held its annual observance of the Holocaust.
The 81-year-old shared his story in hopes of teaching today's youth the value of an education.
Sidler says the Nazis ripped away his opportunities to finish school so he had to work harder to be successful.
Sidler hopes young people today take advantage of the educational opportunities available to most Americans.
"We have kids here in the states that have those opportunites," he said, "and they don't take advantage. They can do everything that I didn't."
Sidler says he hopes the students in attendance Sunday learn to value their education.