Holocaust survivor Dr. Inge Auerbacher was born on December 31, 1934 in Kippenheim, Germany, as the last Jewish child born in the village. She remained an only child.
She experienced Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass) as a 3-year-old child. Her father was a disabled war veteran from WWI and had been awarded the Iron Cross, but that did not save him from being deported to the Dachau concentration camp on November 10, 1938. Her grandfather suffered the same fate, but luckily they both were released from their torture after a few weeks. Inge herself was imprisoned from 1942–1945 in the Terezin concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. Inge and her parents survived these terrible years by a miracle, but at least 13 immediate members of her family were killed as well as many more distant relatives, bringing the total to at least 20. Inge is the only child survivor from the State of Wuerttemberg who was deported to the concentration camps from Stuttgart, Germany.
Inge and her parents emigrated to the United States in 1946. For many years, she suffered from tuberculosis, a result from the terrible conditions in the concentration camp, resulting in years of hospitalization, chemotherapy, and the loss of 8 years of schooling. Despite all this, she graduated from Queens College in New York City with a B.S. degree in chemistry. She worked for 38 years a chemist in medical research and clinical work. She is now retired, and travels to many countries to speak about the Holocaust, tolerance, and human rights. She has been the subject of documentary films and the recipient of many honors including the following: New York State Woman of Distinction; Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Long Island University, New York City; Ellis Island Medal of Honor; Louis E. Yavner Citizen Award (from the Board of Regents of New York State); Queens College Alumni Star Award; and many other citations of honor from various governmental agencies.
Inge is the author of the following 6 books and has been published in 9 languages:
- I Am A Star—Child of the Holocaust
- Beyond the Yellow Star To America
- Running Against the Wind
- Finding Dr. Schatz—The Discovery of Streptomycin And a Life
- Highway To New York
- Children of Terror (co-author Bozenna Urbanowicz Gilbride)
Many of her poems are published and set to music.
She has been awarded the following prestigious awards for her work teaching tolerance and human rights:
- Ellis Island Medal of Honor—1999
- Louis E. Yavner Citizen Award—1999
- Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa, Long Island University—2005