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2015-03-27 digital edition

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March 27, 2015  RSS feed

Text: T T T

Son of Auschwitz survivor to speak at ceremony in Port Richey

Ron Becker Ron Becker As a prisoner at Auschwitz, Ron Becker’s father had the worst job imaginable – he was among a group of men forced, upon threat of death, to aid in disposal of gas chamber victims.

Becker’s father survived and was freed when the death camp was liberated, but his wife, son, mother and sisters preished at the camp.

Becker, head of the Rutgers University Libraries Special Collections and University Archives, will be featured speaker at a Yom HaShoah memorial service on Sunday, April 12 from 1-3 p.m. at Congregation Beth Tefillah 9841 Scenic Drive, Port Richey.

Becker said his talk at the event “will be on how Holocaust survivors somehow built new lives out of the ashes, started new families, entered new occupations, and brought up a new generation. I will also speak about my generation, what it is like to be a survivor’s child, including the psychological aspects. I will draw on oral history interviews, published studies, and of course, my own experiences.”

Becker said his dad spent time in a displaced persons camp after he was freed from Auschwitz, then immigrated to the United States to join an older sister who had arrived in New York before the war.

In the Bronx, he discovered another family from the same shetl of Lunna-Wola in Belarus that he had lived in before the war. The family he met had moved to New York before the war, and he wound up marrying a woman from that family, both to them working at clothing factories before moving to a Jewish Agricultural Society sponsored chicken farm in Vineland, NJ, where Ron Becker and his sister grew up.

“There were many small farms inhabited by immigrant survivor families. Yiddish was the only language spoken, and it was a unique, fascinating way to grow up,” Becker said.

Becker said his dad, like many Holocaust survivors, rarely spoke of his experiences.

In addition to Becker’s talk, Rabbi Al Goldberg of Beth Tefillah will lead a Yom HaShoah memorial service, assisted by Cantor Colman Reaboi of Congregation B’nai Emmunah of Tarpon Springs.

There is no charge to attend.

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