Inge Auerbacher (born December 31, 1934 in Kippenheim) is an American chemist of German origin. She is a survivor of the Holocaust and has published many books about her experiences in the Second World War.
Inge Auerbacher was the last Jewish child born in Kippenheim, a village in South-Western Germany located at the foot of the Black Forest, close to the borders of France and Switzerland. She was the only child of Berthold (1898–1987) and Regina Auerbacher (née Lauchheimer, 1905–1996). Both of her parents came from observant Jewish families who had lived for many generations in Germany.
Inge’s father was a soldier in the German Army during World War I. He was wounded badly and consequently awarded the Iron Cross for service to his country. Inge’s father was a textile merchant and the family owned a large home in Kippenheim.
On November 10, 1938, her father and grandfather were arrested and taken away during the chaos of Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass) and sent to the Dachau concentration camp. Inge, her mother, and her grandmother were able to hide in a shed during Kristallnacht and were not harmed. A few weeks later Inge's father and grandfather returned home, but her grandfather died shortly after in May, 1939 of a heart attack.
Auerbacher spent part of her childhood between the years 1942-1945, when she was sent to a concentration camp. A total of 140,000 people were shipped to Theresienstadt concentration camp near Terezin; 88,000 were sent primarily to the gas chambers in Auschwitz, and 35,000 died of malnutrition and disease in Terezin. Of the 15,000 children imprisoned in Terezin, Inge and her parents were among the 1% that survived. The Red Army rescued Auerbacher's family on May 8, 1945. After a short stay at Göppingen, the family immigrated to New York City in May 1946. Seven years later Auerbacher obtained US citizenship. She graduated from Queens College and spent 38 years working as a chemist.
In 1986, Auerbacher published her first book about her childhood's memories. It was called I am a Star. She is the author of six books, including three memoirs about her experiences in Terezin and recovering after the war, and the subject of a new play, "The Star on My Heart," to premiere in Ohio in November 2015.
- Beyond the Yellow Star to America. Royal Fireworks Pub, 2003. ISBN 0-88092-252-4
- Finding Dr. Schatz: The Discovery of Streptomycin and a Life It Saved. Lightning Source. UK Ltd, 2006. ISBN 0-595-37997-4
- Anton Hegele (Hrsg.), Inge Auerbacher: 800 Jahre Jebenhausen: vom ritterschaftlichen Dorf zum Stadtbezirk. Göppingen, 2006. Veröffentlichungen des Stadtarchivs Göppingen, Band 46
- I Am a Star: Child of the Holocaust, Penguin, January 31, 1993
Children of Terror with Bozenna Urbanowicz Gilbride
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