95-year-old who survived 5 camps publishes memoirs about the Holocaust

Samuel Heider, who survived 5 camps, used to give lectures on his experience. Now, facing health challenges, he published his memoirs to make sure the next generation remembers.

September 16, 2019 05:48
1 minute read.
95-year-old who survived 5 camps publishes memoirs about the Holocaust

Polish born Mordechai Fox, an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor, wears a yellow Star of David on his jacket during a ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day. (photo credit: REUTERS)

At the age of 95, Samuel Heider, a Holocaust survivor, decided to write down his memories of the Holocaust in a book, despite how difficult it is for him to revisit them.

Heider, has been working on this book for about two years now with writer Stevie Ann Kremer.

“After his lecture, people were asking him questions and I heard somebody say, ‘Do you have a book?’ And he said, ‘No, but I want to write a book.’ So the bells went off in my head,” Kremer told The Dayton Jewish Observer. “I thought, here’s my next focus.”

She then wrote Heider a letter, which he kept.

After that, the two began meeting on a regular basis and Heider gave Kremer his lecture notes. He told her about how he met his wife, Phyllis, after the war in a displaced persons camp in Germany, how they came to Dayton with their son, and how he and other survivors held the first Holocaust commemoration ceremony at the Beth Abraham Synagogue.

In the book is a picture of Heider's sister Laja. This is no ordinary photo. Heider carried it under his arm for five years while in Nazi concentration camps. Kermer told The Dayton Jewish Observer that the photo was "the only thing that sustained him."

Due to his declining health, Heider rarely ever gives his lectures anymore. He now lives with his daughter and her husband in Dayton.

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