Holocaust survivor meets family of doctor who saved him

Posted: Updated:
CEDARHURST -

A North Woodmere resident on Thursday sobbed and hugged the family of a doctor who saved his life four times at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Bernie Igielski, a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor, said Dr. Berthold Epstein protected him several times, including seconds before he was about to enter the gas chamber.

He met Joseph Kohn, a relative of Dr. Epstein, at the Gural JCC in Cedarhurst.

“This is very hard for me to express how I feel,” said Ilgielski.

Igielski lost his entire family to the gas chamber. His story is being featured in the documentary "Paper Clips." In the film, he expressed his regret that he was never able to thank the doctor who saved his life.

Holocaust researchers started digging and located Dr. Epstein's relative in New Jersey. With help from the Gural JCC in Cedarhurst, Igielski was finally able to show his appreciation.

VIDEO: North Woodmere Holocaust survivor meets family of doctor who saved him

Igielski, a father and grandfather, came to the U.S. in 1948. He said he has been thankful for the happy life he has lived.

“I want you to know, happiness makes me cry more than anything else,” said Igielski.

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