EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – An El Paso barber is giving haircuts to the last living Holocaust survivor in El Paso at the MonteVista at Coronado nursing home.
Perla Sotelo has been cutting 95-year-old Tibor Schaechner’s hair at Kingsmen Barber Studio for four years. However, in the past couple of months, she’s been commuting to his nursing home after she noticed he was having trouble making it to his appointments.
“One day, he scheduled his appointment and then he called back and he sounded kind of sad, that he wasn’t going to be able to make it. And I was like, ‘Don’t worry, Tibor,’” Sotelo said.
Schaechner and Sotelo met through his grandson’s friend, and since then, she’s been cutting his hair almost every week.
“He came to the barbershop and I think it was a random that I just got him. First, it was just a haircut, and then I started with trimming his beard,” Sotelo said.
Sotelo tells KTSM she wants the Borderland to know there is a bond between a barber and a client, no matter what obstacles come their way.
Schaechner survived the Holocaust in Budapest, Hungary, at 15 years old. He made his way to the U.S. where he met his wife, who was also a Holocaust survivor at Auschwitz.
“I thank God that my brain works. I survived a lot of situations. It’s a long story,” Schaechner said.
Schaechner came to El Paso in 1960 after living in Manhattan. He mentioned that there were a little over 60 Holocaust survivors in the Sun City, but he’s now the only one left.
“The city I lived in, there were 1 million people that died, no, it was 2 million, and one city had 250,000 Jews in it. The country, Hungary, had 750,000 Jews before the Germans occupied Hungary in March 1944,” Schaechner said.
With everything he’s been through, Schaechner says he’s very grateful for people like Sotelo, who is now considered like family.
If you’re interested in booking a haircut with Perla Sotelo, click here for information about Kingsmen Barber Studio.