BAYONNE, NJ – One of the few children to survive a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia during World War II will be the keynote speaker at Bayonne’s annual Holocaust Remembrance Service on Wednesday, May 4 at 6 p.m. in the Bayonne City Council Chambers, 630 Ave. C.
The public is invited to attend.
Inge Auerbacher, a Holocaust survivor who was the last Jewish child born in Kippenheim, Germany, will talk about her time at the Terezin (Theresienstadt) concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, at the event.
Auerbacher spent three years at Terezin, when she was 7 to 10 years old. She was among the one percent of children – out of 15,000 at the camp – who survived. Her parents also survived, and the family emigrated to the United States in 1946.
But coming to the U.S. did not mean that all was well for Auerbacher. She was stricken by a serious illness that resulted from years of malnutrition in the concentration camp. She was hospitalized for two years and struggled for more years to regain her health.
After graduating from high school in Brooklyn, N.Y., Auerbacher earned a B.S. in Chemistry and worked for nearly 40 years as a chemist. She has published four books, numerous articles and more than 50 poems.
Auerbacher has been lecturing about the Holocaust in the United States, Canada, and Germany for 35 years.
Her hometown of Kippenheim awards the Inge Auerbacher Prize, which goes to students and institutions that promote tolerance and human rights.
At the Bayonne service, prayers and reflections will be offered by Rabbi Jacob Benzaquen of Temple Emanu-El and Rabbi Marc Disick of Temple Beth Am, as well as Christian pastors and a representative of the Bayonne Muslim community.
The event is sponsored by the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Bayonne and the Bayonne Interfaith Clergy, and is hosted by the city of Bayonne. Mayor James Davis is the honorary chairman of the program.
Davis, City Council President Sharon Nadrowski, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, and other elected officials will present proclamations and offer brief remarks. Members of Bayonne’s veterans’ groups will carry the colors and the banners of their posts. Bayonne students will also participate in the processional.
Hara Benjamin-Garritano, a soloist from Temple Beth Am, will lead the singing of Hatikvah and the Star-Spangled Banner.
The event will include a candle-lighting ceremony in which Holocaust survivors and others will take part.
The winner of the Holocaust essay contest at Bayonne High School will read from the essay and will receive an award sponsored by the Preminger and Epstein families.
Arnold Wendroff is president of the UJA Federation of Bayonne, and Ilona Rosenberg is president of the Jewish Community Center. Dr. Ellen Goldberg is the executive director of the UJA and the JCC. Helene Kessel Nagiar and Joseph E. Ryan are co-chairing the service.
The memorial program has been held for more than 30 years.