Survivors Speak at Banquet

Fanny+Aizenburg+spoke+to+faculty%2C+staff+and+students+about+the+atrocities+committed+during+the+holocaust.+--+Photo+by%3A+Sanjay+Suchak

Fanny Aizenburg spoke to faculty, staff and students about the atrocities committed during the holocaust. -- Photo by: Sanjay Suchak

Original: May 10, 2011 Issue 16

By: Aline Barros

Staff Writer

Fanny Aizenburg spoke to faculty, staff and students about the atrocities committed during the holocaust. -- Photo by: Sanjay Suchak


Holocaust survivors share their tales with the MC community

On May 3 the Annual Holocaust Commemoration was hosted at the Montgomery College Rockville campus. Guests, including students and faculty such as President Pollard, enjoyed live music from the Flory Jagoda Trio and heard from speakers who had survived Nazi persecution during the Holocaust.

“It is a very powerful message,” said Pollard, who thinks that storytelling is beautiful and important for the whole college community. According to www.insidemc.montgomerycollege.edu the Annual Commemoration also featured a candle lighting ceremony and a partial exhibit of “Portraits of Life: Holocaust Survivors of Montgomery County,” a documentary project created to tell the stories of survivors who have lived in and around Montgomery County.

During the event, Fanny Aizenburg, the first Holocaust survivor to speak, shared some of her horrific experiences in Auschwitz. Between beatings, forced labor, and other horrible situations, Aizenburg managed to endure with the help of six other women, along with the hope of reuniting with her daughter, Josiane, whom she had sent to a hiding place.

When Auschwitz was evacuated by the Nazis, Aizenburg was forced to go on a death march. “Many were shot, many,” said Aizenburg. Russian forces later liberated the camp and cared for the former prisoners in a makeshift hospital. “You know what saved my life? Milk saved my life,” added Aizenburg. After the war, it took her a long time to understand and realize that it was really over.

Regina Spiegel. -- Photo courtesy of www.ushmm.org

The event continued with another survivor, Regina Speigel, who began her speech by saying, “If we can prevent anybody from being hateful, then maybe, just maybe, we have done something.” In Auschwitz, Speigel met Sam Speigel, who after the war became her husband. “You see, even in places like that a woman can find love,” she said.

Following Speigel’s speech, the commemoration continued with a performance by Flory Jagoda Trio of four songs. Though the Trio sang in Spanish, the public was able to follow along as a translation of each song was provided in the program.