Holocaust survivor, writer Gerda Weissmann Klein dies at 97

PHOENIX (AP) — Gerda Weissmann Klein, a Holocaust survivor who wrote about her ordeal and went on to obtain a presidential medal of freedom, shall be remembered at a memorial Could 1 after her dying this month.

Klein died April 3 in Phoenix, the place she had lived since 1985. She was 97. Her granddaughter Alysa Cooper confirmed the dying however didn’t give a trigger.

Klein was born Could 8, 1924, to Helene and Julius Weissmann in Bielsko, Poland.

She was a youngster when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939 and the household was compelled to reside within the basement of their residence for 3 years. Klein’s mother and father have been later deported to the Auschwitz focus camp and she or he by no means noticed them or her brother once more.

Klein spent the following three years in Nazi camps. She met her future husband, Military Lt. Kurt Klein, when American troopers liberated her and others from an deserted bicycle manufacturing unit in Volary, Czechoslovakia, on Could 7, 1945, the eve of her twenty first birthday.

On the time, she weighed simply 68 kilos (30.8 kg) and her hair was prematurely grey.

Married in Paris on June 18, 1946, the couple began a brand new life in Buffalo, New York, and raised three youngsters: Vivian, Leslie and James.

Klein described her wartime experiences in her memoir “All However My Life,” which has been broadly utilized in highschool and school curricula.

President Invoice Clinton appointed Klein to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Council in 1997, and President Barack Obama awarded her with the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Final yr she was inducted into the Arizona Girls’s Corridor of Fame.

Along with her youngsters, she is survived by eight grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

A personal burial was held.

Her household plans a digital celebration of her life Could 1. Particulars shall be introduced by way of Citizenship Counts, a nonprofit group she based with Cooper, her granddaughter.

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