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Holocaust survivor relives memories: Dr. Inge Auerbacher shares experience of being a child survivor of the Holocaust

February 20, 2015

Breyana Floyd / The Courier - Dr. Inge Auerbacher speaks about her experiences as a child Holocaust survivor.

As survivors age, firsthand accounts of the horrors of the Holocaust will no longer be told. Monmouth students, faculty and community members had the rare opportunity to hear a survivor’s story right here on campus.

Hosted by ASAP as part of the “Human Experience” series, Dr. Inge Auerbacher’s talk, entitled “Memories of a Child Survivor of the Holocaust,” discussed life in Kippenheim, Germany. She disclosed her childhood experiences through snapshots of her life before and after the Holocaust. She recollected her youth covered in lice and surrounded by disease while imprisoned at Theresienstadt Concentration camp.

After liberation, Auerbacher showed symptoms of Tuberculosis after moving to New York City. Exposed to this disease during her imprisonment, she had to postpone her education to allow her body to heal. She still paid the price for freedom even after the war.

Despite her early life struggles, Auerbacher has overcome adversity and makes it her personal mission to encourage others to break down societal barriers. “We should learn from history. Unfortunately, have we learned anything at all? A very precious little. We should treasure our families and our lives every day. Every day is a gift.”

“You can overcome a great deal in life. I overcame the torture of the Holocaust and also the torture of getting a horrible disease there was no cure for many years, but I had good luck,” said Auerbacher. “It was like two miracles in my life. To stay alive from the torture of those terrible years in concentration camps of where I had the death sentence, and I had the death sentence again with this terrible disease. So I had two huge miracles in my life.”

Auerbacher’s personal testimony fits in with the “Human Experience” series because it shares how her life struggles have impacted who she is today. The “Human Experience” series was created to allow students to hear about the experiences and lives of authors, activists, actors, politicians and humanitarians.

“We chose Dr. Inge Auerbacher for this semester’s ‘Human Experience’ series lecture because we felt that her story and her involvement in a very important time in history was important to share,” said Jim Fry. “Also because we very rarely get to hear from those who experienced the atrocities of the Holocaust. It is a story that we will not get to hear about from people who were there for very much longer.”

After decades spent working in America as a chemist, Auerbacher published her first book in 1986, “I am a Star.”

Julianna Graf
Courier Staff Writer

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