Ben Stern and Lea Heitfeld-Lea Heitfeld

These roommates may seem like an unlikely pair, but their friendship has provided valuable comfort and inspiration for both of them.

95-year-old Howard Stern is a Holocaust survivor residing in Berkeley, California. His housemate, 31-year-old Lea Heitfeld is a descendent of Nazis.

The young German student is currently getting her master’s degree in Jewish studies as part of the Graduate Theological Union. Her history, inspiring her to repent for her ancestor’s sins, has compelled her to help educate others on the importance of religious tolerance.

Their companionship is especially valuable for Howard since his 70-year-old wife was recently checked into a nursing home for dementia. He and the student reportedly spend their time watching TV, eating dinner together, and chatting over crackers.

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“This act of his opening his home, I don’t know how to describe it, how forgiving or how big your heart must be to do that, and what that teaches me to be in the presence of someone who has been through that and is able to have me there and to love me,” Lea told the Washington Post. “That he was able to open the door for someone who would remind him of all his pain.”

(WATCH the video below)

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