Holocaust Survivor speaks at Team Hill event

TODD CROMAR/U.S. Air Force
Holocaust survivor, Ms. Liesel Shineberg, right, and Dr. Karen Hirsch speak during a Holocaust Remembrance Day service at the Hill Aerospace Museum’s Nate Mazer Chapel, April 25. The service was organized by the Team Hill Special Observance Council, Holocaust Remembrance Committee.
TODD CROMAR/U.S. Air Force
Attendees listen to guest speakers during the Holocaust Remembrance Day service at the Nate Mazar Chapel, April 25. Holocaust survivor Liesel Shineberg and Dr. Karen Hirsch were the event’s guest speakers.
By 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
May 11, 2017

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — A Holocaust remembrance service was held April 25 at the Nate Mazar Chapel here. 

The ‘Days of Remembrance’ is a time to remember the innocent victims who perished at the hands of evil, and honor the survivors who lived through those horrors. It is also a reminder of what can happen when great evil is left unchecked.

Dr. Karen Hirsch, who volunteers extensively within the Jewish community both locally and at the national level, opened with an invocation and blessing of the candle.

She later shared an account of her grandmother escaping Germany during the Holocaust.

Guest speaker Liesel Shineberg was born in Germany in 1928 and is a Holocaust survivor. She saw the horrors of the Holocaust firsthand—first in Germany and later in Holland where she was friends with Ann Frank. 

During her remarks, Shineberg recalled events in 1938, which she and her family understood to be the beginning of a fearful time for German Jews. 

At school one day in Aachen, Germany, a “brown-shirted” teacher hit her across the face and quietly ordered her to go home immediately. Shineberg didn’t waste any time and she refused to cry. 

That same day, her father was arrested at work along with other Jewish men and taken to a temple in Aachen to gather its valuable contents, which were turned over to the Germans. The temple was then set on fire but her father and others escaped. 

The family lived very cautiously after those events, realizing they were in danger, and began looking for ways to leave Germany.

Eventually, her parents sent Shineberg to Holland, where she was joined later by her family. After months in Holland, she and her family found passage to the United States, eventually settling in Los Angeles where her parents found jobs and she went to school.

When asked by an audience member how her early experiences had shaped her life, Shineberg was pragmatic.

“Life does go on,” she said. “We all have our ups and downs, and life hands us curves. We just have to learn to rock the boat, that’s all.” 

Shineberg said several times that she was a patriotic American. 

“This country has allowed me to live,” she said.

The service was organized by the Team Hill Special Observance Council, Holocaust Remembrance Committee.