Holocaust Survivor To Speak At Limestone On November 2

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 1:45pm
Holocaust Survivor

Holocaust survivor Inge Auerbacher will be speaking at Limestone College on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 8 p.m. in Fullerton Auditorium.

Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

Auerbacher was born in Germany and spent three years, between the ages of 7 and 10 years old, in the Terezin (Theresienstadt) concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, where about 1 percent of the 15,000 children there survived.

She tells her life story in three books she has authored:  “I am a Star - Child of the Holocaust,” “Beyond The Yellow Star to America,” and “Finding Dr. Schatz - The Discovery of Streptomycin And A Life It Saved.”

Auerbacher has also reached out to the African-American community by writing about her friends, Mary and Martha DeSaussure, who were pioneering track stars, in her third book, “Running Against the Wind.”

Terezin was selected by the Nazis as a transit camp before inmates were to be deported to killing centers. It consisted of large brick barracks, underground cells, and broken down houses. It was sealed off from the outside world by high walls, wooden fences, and barbed wire. Auerbacher’s life in Terezin was a nightmare. Death, fear, and hunger were her constant companions. She saw most of her friends sent to the gas chamber. She contracted serious illnesses and spent months in the so-called hospital at the transit camp.

Between 1941 and 1945, a total of 140,000 people were shipped to Terezin, with 88,000 sent primarily to the gas chambers in Auschwitz, and 35,000 died of malnutrition and disease in Terezin.

After three long years, liberation came by the Soviet Army on May 8, 1945, when Auerbacher was 10 years old.

Miraculously, she and both her parents survived. They learned that at least 13 close relatives were slaughtered by the Nazis as well as many more from her extended family.

Auerbacher and her parents immigrated to America in May of 1946. She was stricken with a deadly disease caused by years of malnutrition in the concentration camp. She was hospitalized for two years, and fought a valiant battle for many years to regain her strength. Although she had lost many years of schooling, she graduated with honors from Bushwick High School in Brooklyn in 1953. She completed a college degree (BS in Chemistry) in 1958, and continued with post-graduate work in Biochemistry. Auerbacher worked for over 38 years as a chemist in research and clinical work.

“We must speak out against evil and injustice,” Auerbacher said in one of her books. “Let us build bridges of understanding and love to join mankind in every land. My hope, my wish, and prayer is for every child to grow up in peace without hunger and prejudice.”