By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY


A 92-year-old Holocaust survivor is set tonight to accept an high school diploma he says will honor the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis.

Fred Voss of Ithica, N.Y., who received an award for tolerance from American civil rights icon Rosa Parks in 2000, will wear a cap and gown in Lansing High School's class of 2012 graduation ceremony, according to The Ithica Journal.

The paper says Voss has lectured at Lansing High School for the past 10 years as part of the sophomore Holocaust curriculum. He authored a book about surviving Nazi-controlled Germany in 2004, titled Miracles, Milestones and Memories.

The Ithica Journal quotes an advance copy of the acceptance speech Voss planned for the 7 p.m. Friday ceremony. In it, Voss speaks about young Holocaust victims who "never had the opportunity to receive their high school diploma because, being of the Jewish religion, they were forced out of school, like myself, and many were too young to have entered school. Rather than being educated, they were killed."

Voss told the Associated Press, "How many future brilliant scholars were lost? How many of those children might have contributed to allowing all of us to live in a better world?"

Voss grew up in Aachen in western Germany, not far from the borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, and had a normal childhood before his world came crashing down the day of his bar mitzvah in 1933. When the family returned home after the ceremony, soldiers barred the way.

Eventually, 67 members of his and his future wife's family were killed.