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Interview with a Holocaust Survivor

I am interviewing Holocaust survivor Inge Auerbacher. Being the strongest woman I know, she survived the German concentration camp Terezin also known as Theresienstadt, located in Czechoslovakia. Today you will hear of a story that needs to be told, during an event that needs to be remembered and from a perspective that shows all the love and the hate that the human heart is capable of…

Correena: “Being only seven years old when sent to Terezin I am sure that you had a lot of fears… but can you recall what your biggest fear was?”

Inge: “My biggest fear was to be separated from my parents.”

Correena: “Now you and your family were extremely fortunate, you were able to go into Terezin and come out of Terezin together, how grateful are you for that?”

Inge: “I am grateful beyond words!

Correena: “Since Terezin was masked as a “model camp” where a lot of decorated war veterans went, is that the reason your family went there because of your father receiving the iron cross or was it just a random Nazi decision?”

Inge: “Yes, that was the reason but we were supposed to go to a different camp. But that does not save you from being killed or dying there; nor did that prevent you from being shipped to the east.

Correena: “I understand that living in Terezin had many terrible memories but for you are there any good ones?”

Inge: “There is the memory of wonderful friends: Mrs. Rinder; she was a Czech woman who gave me a mattress by splitting her son’s mattress in half, very kind lady, but sadly her and her family were sent to the east and were killed. Then there were other girl friends that I made: Ada and Ruth, who were both killed as well. War is a terrible thing but it is the one thing that brings out the best and the worst in people.”

Correena: “During the “beautification” process at Terezin were there any people who thought that Terezin would stay that way? Did you ever think that it would stay that way?”

Inge: “It was questionable but we did hope and we did doubt.”

Correena: “What is the best way you can describe the emotions that went through you on liberation day?”

Inge: “Fear, fear of the unknown, the fear of ‘what’s next’. But there was also gladness; it was gladness and fear all at once.”

Correena: “Having no more education than a first grader, how did you go from that level to where you should have been, age wise, when you arrived in America?”

Inge: “It was very tough. After arriving in America I came down with TB and had to remain in the hospital for a few years. I started school when I was fifteen. I graduated from high school and then went to college and became a chemist for 38 years.”

Correena: “Do you ever get inspired when you hear about other survivors stories?”

Inge: “I think every human being has a story. That is the reason I wrote, “I am a Star”. It is not just Holocaust survivor stories that inspire me but everyone has a story and a right to tell it.”

Correena: “In your own words, why should the Holocaust be remembered?”

Inge: “Because it was one of the most dreadful things that happened and by a nation that should have known better. One should never follow blindly; always look at the situation and think of the outcome or the consequences.”

Correena: “Do you believe that there is a reason that you survived instead of the others? If so what is that reason?”

Inge: “No, I think it was chance. But I have an obligation to keep the spirits of the ones who were less fortunate alive; the silent voices must be heard. To this day the faces of friends and of loved ones still haunt me.”

Correena: “Has there ever been a time where you wished you were not Jewish?”

Inge: “No, definitely not. I am the way I am. I cannot change that and I would not change that; even if I had to relive those days. My hope, my wish and prayer is for every child to grow up in peace without hunger and prejudice.”



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This article has 3 comments. Post your own!

poopmiester123 said...
Apr. 11, 2013 at 11:15 am:
great story! voted 5 stars
 
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MereChar This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 5, 2010 at 8:41 pm:

Hey! This is awesome! Our school is hosting Inge this weekend and I'm very excited. Good questions too btw :)

 

 
Erene This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 6, 2010 at 8:43 am :
awesome!! you will love her!!!
 
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