Max Edelman's story of survival - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Holocaust survivor's inspirational story

Max Edelman and his trusty guide dog Max Edelman and his trusty guide dog
LYNDHURST, OH (WOIO) -

Max Edelman has an incredible story to tell.  And Edelman's story is told in the riveting book, "Trusting Calvin." 

Now living in Lyndhurst, Edelman was a teenager in Poland when he was taken to a German concentration camp.  He saw fellow prisoners tortured and killed and in one horrific incident watched as a guard ordered a German Shepard to attack and kill a man standing right next to him.  That incident instilled in Edelman an intense fear of dogs, which would become a major problem later in his life. 

Edelman was beaten so badly during the Holocaust, that he lost his sight and when his wife became ill the only way for him to remain independent was to work with a guide dog. 

The book details the pain staking process of accepting a dog in his life.

"Having that experience of a dog doing that to a human being and I now have to trust a dog to guide me, and not get me in trouble, get me killed," Edelman said.

The book details one of the defining moments of Edelman's life, when his guide dog, Calvin, yanked him backwards, away from the street and an oncoming car, "I crouched down and gave him a big hug, he saved both of us from very serious injuries, and from that moment on the curtain lifted,  that was it," Edelman said.

Since that experience, Edelman has been able to continue his independent lifestyle, he speaks to students about his life experiences, and enjoys walks around the neighborhood. And thanks to Guiding Eyes for the Blind is working with his third dog, Tobi. 

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