'Miracle baby of Dachau' dies

Known to some as the "miracle baby of Dachau," Helga Page's story was featured in a 2006 article in The Oklahoman.

By CARLA HINTON/THE OKLAHOMAN/TNS
September 30, 2019 20:08
2 minute read.
A sign at Dachau Concentration Camp reading "Never Again"

A sign at Dachau Concentration Camp reading "Never Again". (photo credit: US AIR FORCE PHOTO ILLUSTRATION/SENIOR AIRMAN BRIANA JONES)

Helga Page, one of the youngest survivors of the Nazi concentration camps, died Sept. 26. She was 74.

Page, of Oklahoma City, was too young to remember the liberation of Dachau. She was born on April 2, 1945, in the barracks at the concentration camp, 27 days before it was liberated on April 29 by the 45th Infantry Division, among others.

Known to some as the "miracle baby of Dachau," Page's story was featured in a 2006 article in The Oklahoman.

Her birth occurred nine months after her mother was raped by a German prison guard. She was sick with typhoid fever and appeared to be close to death so she was taken to a German hospital after Dachau was liberated. She was put in an orphanage where she lived for six years until her mother Agnes was physically able to take care of her. Agnes had married an American solder by then and he brought his family to the United States, where Page grew up.

In 2006, Page was able to meet and thank one of her liberators, Tech. Sgt. Joe Wilson of the 45th Infantry Division, during a Holocaust Remembrance ceremony at Oklahoma City University. The Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City, sponsors of the annual event, had learned of Page's story and, with help from the 45th Infantry Museum, arranged for her to be part of the ceremony and meet Wilson.

Page, then 61, presented Wilson with a chocolate bar. The gift was a symbolic gesture because many American soldiers liberating the concentration camps gave starving prisoners chocolate bars. At the time of the 2006 ceremony, Page told a reporter that meeting one of her liberators was "very emotional."

"I can't describe it," she said.

Michael Korenblit of Edmond, son of Holocaust survivors Meyer and Manya Korenblit (both deceased), said he was saddened by Page's passing.

"She was special to our community," he said. "She attached herself to the Yom HaShoah ceremony and what that meant. For years, she wanted to be there to light a candle."

He said her parents, who were not Jewish, were political prisoners who had been imprisoned in the concentration camps because of their opposition to the Nazis. Korenblit said it was miraculous that Page's mother was able to hide her from the Nazis, keeping her from certain death at their hands.

"Her mom hid her under the garbage because they would have killed them both. Luckily, it was so near the end (of the war) that they were able to survive," he said.

Edie Roodman, executive director of the Oklahoma Israel Exchange, served as executive director of the Jewish Federation when the organization learned about Page's story and asked her to be part of the Holocaust remembrance observances.

"Getting to know Helga was truly a privilege. The fact that she shared that story and was willing to light candles next to other survivors really touched people's hearts," Roodman said. "When you consider how she came into this world, the hardships that her mother and her family endured, it was impressive."

A Celebration of Life was held Sunday in Moore.
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©2019 The Oklahoman
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