GREENVILLE, PA —By her 11th birthday, Dr. Inge Auerbacher had survived Kristallnacht, mobs, riots, three years in a concentration camp, malnutrition, disease and unimaginable loss and fear. On Wednesday, February 18, at 8 p.m. in the William A. Passavant Center of Thiel College, Auerbacher will share her experiences of survival and her message of hope, peace and tolerance.
“Beyond the Yellow Star” will explore her life before and after the Holocaust, and includes slides of her village, her grandparents’ village, the camp and other depictions of her life at that time. Auerbacher will detail her return trip as an adult to the Terezin concentration camp, and tell stories about how her grandmother died, as well as other friends and family. This special event is part of Thiel’s Diversity Week activities and is sponsored by the Offices of Multicultural Affairs and Student Life, the resident assistants of Thiel’s Harter Hall and the Community Building Initiative.
Born in Kippenheim, Germany, three-year-old Auerbacher and her family were victims of Kristallnacht, “The Night of Broken Glass,” in November 1938, and survived by hiding from the rioting mob in a backyard shed. Four years later, she was imprisoned in the Terezin concentration camp, a Nazi transit camp, in Czechoslovakia. Most residents of Terezin were later transported to killing centers, such as Auschwitz, further east. Auerbacher was 10 years old when she was finally freed, part of the one percent of the 15,000 children who were imprisoned there that survived. Her parents also survived, and later the family immigrated to the United States.
Auerbacher graduated with honors from Bushwick High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., after years fighting illnesses related to the malnutrition she suffered in the concentration camp. She later earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a graduate degree in biochemistry. She worked as a chemist for more than 38 years, collaborating with prominent scientists and participating in clinical work. She is the author of four award-winning books, including “I am a Star,” which was made into a movie. She is the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Louis E. Yavner Citizen Award and a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Long Island University.
Copies of “I am a Star” will be available for purchase at the event, which is free and open to the public. For more information, call Robert Flukas, assistant director of student activities, at 724-589-2228 or 724-589-3144, or e-mail email@example.com