Holocaust survivor celebrates 104th birthday with 400 descendants | News | DW | 08.08.2019
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Holocaust survivor celebrates 104th birthday with 400 descendants

In what is being seen a symbolic triumph over the Holocaust, a survivor has celebrated with her 400 descendants. She turned 104.

An Auschwitz survivor celebrated her 104th birthday in Jerusalem, joined by about 400 of her descendants, according to the Israeli embassy in Berlin and local reports.

Schoschana Ovitz reportedly requested all her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren join her for a celebration at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall, the holiest place where Jews can pray.

According to the Israeli embassy, almost all of them joined her, despite being spread around the world.

Ovitz survived the Holocaust after witnessing her mother being selected for death by doctor Josef Mengele, who volunteered for the selection lines so he could hand-pick victims for his human experiments.

After surviving Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp in German-occupied Poland in which more than 1 million people were killed, she searched for surviving relatives and met her first cousin. He had lost his wife and four children in the Nazi genocide.

The two married and their first child was born in an Austrian refugee camp. They then emigrated to Israel where they raised their four children in the coastal town of Haifa.

Ovitz's oldest granddaughter, Panini Friedman, who lives in Belgium, told the news site Walla: "Only during the celebration did we understand how important she is. We all had tears in our eyes. It was very moving."

The reunion was seen as a triumph over the attempts of Nazi Germany to wipe out the Jewish people.

Images shared on social media showed hundreds of people posing for a photograph.

aw/kl (dpa, Walla)

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