Holocaust Survivor Shares Her Experiences
April 19, 2007 8:34 AM
A large audience gathered Wednesday night in HSS Room 317 for the Holocaust memorial lecture featuring Sabina S. Zimering, M. D., author of “Hiding in the Open” and survivor of the Jewish ghettos during World War II.
“It was a great turnout, more than I expected,” said Marion Gerlind, Ph.D., who is currently teaching Holocaust and Genocide at SF State. “I think she deserved a great audience.”
There were about 95 to 100 people who attended the event said Gerlind, which forced some to stand in the back or even sit on the floor.
During the lecture Zimering told the eager audience about what saved her from being captured while the Nazi regime was in power and the obstacles that she and many others faced during those hard times, including how she dodged the Gestapo.
“I didn’t know then that my knowledge of Catholicism and my accent-free Polish would save me,” said Zimering.
While in hiding Zimering explained that she had to pretend to be Catholic instead of Jewish, so as not be killed or put in a camp, but that never changed her beliefs.
“I looked at it as on the outside I was a Catholic Pole, on the inside I was a Jewish Pole, and that never changed,” Zimering said.
Zimering explained how difficult it was for her when writing her book to revisit the hard time she had lived though, but after retirement she decided, “it’s either now or never.” She as well thought it would be fitting to feature the colors red and black on the book cover as a “reminder of the Nazis.”
At the end of the question and answer session held after Zimering’s entrancing speech, she was presented a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the history department at SF State.
All in all Zimering’s presentation captivated the audience. So much so that her autobiography, once stacked on the table next to her, was quickly purchased by students interested to know more.
“I am very fond of my students who did not run away from the horrors of the Holocaust,” said Gerlind. “I wanted to bring her here so you can hear her life story, a very interesting life story.”
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