April 27, 2012

Holocaust survivor shares her “miracle” story

by Capt. Angelic Dolan
Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
Air Force photograph by Lou Hernandez
Regina Hirsch shared her story with an audience of Air Force personnel during the Holocaust Remembrances Day held at Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., April 18. Hirsch talked of the hardships she, her family and friends suffered at the hands of the German soldiers and Gestapo after Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.

Holocaust survivor Regina Hirsch shared her terrifying experiences and the miracle of survival during the Space and Missile Systems Center Holocaust Observance, April 18 at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.

The purpose of the observance is to reflect upon and never forget what happened to the millions who were affected by the Holocaust.

“If I live to be a hundred years, I cannot express the terror of the Holocaust,” said Hirsch.

Hirsch endured beatings and hunger, and witnessed torture and murder of Jews, including her own family, during the Holocaust.

After four and half years of starvation, abuse and constant fear, and both her father and mother being killed, Hirsch admitted she didn’t want to live anymore.

“We had a life like normal people, and here we are like animals,” she said.

Hirsch and her two sisters continued to use survival tactics such as staying at the back of the line when children were chosen one by one for death or labor, which did succeed in keeping each of them alive.

Hirsch calls moments like this simply a “miracle.” It was miracle after miracle that helped her to escape situations where death was imminent.

After the liberation, Hirsch lived in Germany for several years where she said, “We became human beings again.”

She shares her story to teach others a lesson in humanity, to love one another regardless, and to never repeat the atrocity of the Holocaust.

“‘I feel particularly fortunate to have the opportunity to hear her story; she is a living legend,” said Tamry McCauley, a member of the Space and Missile Systems Center conference services team. “The story she shared is about discrimination, an issue that is still relevant in today’s world. She teaches us to love all; something we should all embrace.”

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