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Three Holocaust Survivors to Share Their Stories at the Ocean County Library Toms River Branch

originally published: 06/24/2024

Three Holocaust Survivors to Share Their Stories at the Ocean County Library Toms River Branch

(L-R) - Albert Hepner, Gela Buchbinder, and Mona Ginsberg

(TOMS RIVER, NJ) -- The Ocean County Library is honored to host three Holocaust survivors who will discuss their experiences in the fourth presentation of its "Combatting Hate" series. Join us for "A Conversation with Mona Ginsberg, Albert Hepner and Gela Buchbinder" in the OCL Toms River Branch on Tuesday, July 23, 2024. The event begins at 6:30pm.

Mona Ginsberg, born in Austria of Polish lineage, and Albert Hepner, Belgian by birth, were hidden children during the Nazi invasion and occupation of their country. In Poland, Gela Buchbinder was assigned to a concentration camp.

Albert Hepner was separated from his newly-widowed mother and older brother for four terrifying years, shuttling from strangers’ homes to churches to convents, suffering beatings and degradation. After the war, he was placed in an orphanage. Scarred by his ordeal for many years even after arriving in America, he found the courage to speak in public and authored a self-published account, Avrumele: A Memoir.

Mona Ginsberg was five years old in 1938 when a brick flew through a window of her family’s dwelling in Austria. They fled to Belgium and in 1940 were forced to leave Antwerp for Liége, where Mona was hidden in the village of Banneaux. Mona, her mother and brother lived with different families and kept in contact. Her father died in Auschwitz. After hostilities ended, Mona and her family re-started life together. She moved to America and stayed in touch with the family that shielded her.

Gela Buchbinder, born in Poland, was one of six children in a family that operated a produce store. Anti-Semitic brutality bred social isolation. When war descended in her 14th year, she was herded into a cargo train bound for Czechoslovakia. Forced into labor in a linen factory, she became hardened to malnourishment, beatings and threats. Placed in a concentration camp, she weighed 56 pounds, suffered arthritis and had lost all her teeth by age 18.

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Please register at to attend this free program recommended for teens and adults. For more information stop by the OCL Toms River Branch, 101 Washington Street, visit the Library’s online Calendar of Events or call (732) 349-6200.

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