Alice Kern – 1923-2010
May her soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life.
Born in 1923 in the small town of Sighet, Romania, Alice, (known then as Koppel Lucy), was twenty-one when she was taken in 1944 via cattle car to Auschwitz, and was eventually liberated from Bergen Belsen. In her book, “Tapestry of Hope“, she tells her dramatic story of courage and perseverance, plainly told, and strangely free of bitterness…
Alice and her husband Hugo (Kohn, of Wopfing, Austria, and survivor of Dachau) met and married in Sweden after the war and immigrated to the United States in 1947. In 1995, fifty years after her liberation from Bergen Belson, Alice returned with their four daughters and videographer Robert Bowling for the first time to the place of her birth, and retraced her steps to the concentration camps where she was interned. The video-documentary, “Journey to Remember”, captures her story as outlined in her book, telling all from the very sites where it occurred…
“With only the clothes on our back we were driven into cattle cars. Upon our arrival in Auschwitz we were “selected” under the bright spotlight beaming down on us;… All the experiences thereafter were impossible to forget…” Alice Kern
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For many years Alice spoke to groups in Portland and beyond sharing her story of overcoming adversity with courage and hope. She published her memoirs “Tapestry of Hope” and a documentary was produced chronicling her visit back to Sighet, Auschwitz, and Bergen Belsen, “Journey to Remember.”
Audio interview of Alice Kern : https://archive.org/details/MarkD.RichardsonOralInterviewAliceKern
Article about the Alice Kern documentary Journey to Remember http://www.digitalmission.us/JourneytoRemember.html
Alice was also a founding member of the building of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial in Washington Park, Portland.
Her four daughters are keeping their parents’ and other survivors’ stories alive and relevant through their work with the Next Generations Group.