Holocaust survivor shares story of her childhood spent in a Nazi concentration camp

Mar 30, 2015 by

Of the 15,000 children imprisoned in Terezin concentration camp between 1941 and 1945, Inge Auerbacher was among the 1 percent who survived.

Inge Auerbacher

Inge Auerbacher

Auerbacher, a Holocaust survivor, research chemist and author, shared her story during a visit to TJC in November.

The event was sponsored by TJC’s Alpha Omicron chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

Auerbacher was the last Jewish child born in Kippenheim, a village located at the foot of the Black Forest in southwestern Germany, near the borders of France and Switzerland. Both of her parents came from observant Jewish families who had lived in Germany for many generations.

In August 1942, when Auerbacher was 7 years old, she and her parents were sent to the Terezin (Theresienstadt) concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. She arrived clutching her beloved doll, Marlene.

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

Auerbacher and both of her parents were liberated by the Soviet Army on May 8, 1945. She was 10 years old at the time; and in 1946, they immigrated to America. In 1953, she graduated in three years (with honors) from Bushwick High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1958, completed post-graduate work in biochemistry and worked more than 38 years as a research chemist.

She has appeared on many radio and television programs both in the U.S. and abroad, and she has published more than 50 poems and articles. Her song, “We Shall Never Forget,” was presented at the first World Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors held in Jerusalem in 1981.


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