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At a joint 100th birthday celebration, six Holocaust survivors shared their lessons learned

By 07/26/2023 8:40 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


Six Holocaust survivors from Florida discussed how they avoided dying during the Holocaust and described the lives they made after surviving the greatest terror.

It was a 100th birthday celebration unlike any other. Elaine Lefkowitz, David Sroka, and Rena Reiter, the youngest of the group, celebrated their 100th birthdays, while Helen Diker, Lucy Blicker, and Chaim Greenberg celebrated their 101st birthdays at Goodman Jewish Family Services in Broward County. Jewish Family Services wrote on Facebook that the celebration on July 26 was a monument to the fortitude of the honorees, whose combined ages reached 603.

Each survivor had the opportunity to share their experiences, and their individual tales served as a stark lesson in fortitude and resiliency.

Reiter recalled being shoved off the cattle car that had taken her to Auschwitz in 1944 and seeing the elderly and young being sent to one side while the healthy, young people were sent to the other.

“Never see them again,” commanded Retier, who was eventually sent on a death march in Ravensbruck before being freed in Hungary by American forces. Never, children. Gone.”

After the Nazis conquered her Polish hometown, Lucy Blicker was forced to labor, according to Asher Weissman.

She suffered for more than three years in Auschwitz, and when she attempted to flee the concentration camp, Nazi guards forced her to sing for their amusement instead of killing her.

Although she and her sister made it through the war, the rest of her family did not. According to Weissman, “They took her mother and put her in the gas chambers, just like they did with her father and other family members.”

Jewish Family Services’ Randy Colman stressed the significance of hearing from survivors, particularly now that there are less than 50,000 left and hate crimes are on the rise. Lefkowitz, who escaped a death march and lived in hiding in Czechoslovakia throughout the war until she was freed in 1946, recalled a crucial lesson her father had taught her.

Do your good deeds now because you never know what tomorrow may bring, said Lefkowitz, and live your life as if it were your last.


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bobby bracros

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