‘I believe it needs to be told’: Daughter of Auschwitz survivors shares her story

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GLEN COVE -

A woman whose parents survived Auschwitz shared her family's story of survival and their battle with anti-Semitism in Glen Cove Sunday.

Dozens gathered at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County to hear Silvia Fishbaum's story of living in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia during World War II.

"It's my journey to religious and political freedom, it is a story that I believe it needs to be told,” she says.

Fishbaum's book, titled "Dirty Jewess: Testimony by a Child of Auschwitz Survivors of Her Escape from Soviet Occupation and Antisemitism,” chronicles her and her family's life behind the Iron Curtain and their efforts to seek refuge in Rome. The book, which has been published in many languages, also shares her quest to become an American citizen.

Fishbaum says the book is an effort to keep the legacy of Holocaust survivors and their descendants alive. 

"I felt like I have to do it. People have to know. They asked me so the children and grandchildren will know how blessed they are to be born in this country such as United States,” she says.

North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Veronica Bisek Lurvey, who also has Czech heritage, says Fishbaum's story is vital as the numbers of anti-Semitic attacks climb.

"It's very important to hear people's stories about those experiences so that we feel them personally, and so that we are spurred to act and not be silent in the face of that type of hate speech,” says Lurvey.

While Fishbaum says it pains her to see a rise in anti-Semitism here in the U.S. and around the world, she says she wants readers to understand the value of living in a country with religious freedom.

"Foremost, it would be the gratitude for having the chance to live and be born in a country that is free,” says Fishbaum.

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