Horace Mann Students Hear from Holocaust Survivor

Fourth graders in Dessie Jeffries’ class at Horace Mann School closed out Black History Month with a special in-person visit from Jerry Weiser, a Holocaust survivor. Last year, for Black History Month, Weiser visited the class via Zoom. This year was extra special because Weiser and his wife, Rita, visited in person. Weiser is the grandfather of three students in the Beverly Hills Unified School District.

Weiser shared photographs and memorabilia as he spoke of his mother’s fight to survive the atrocities perpetrated by Slovak fascists from 1939 until 1944 and later by the invading Nazis. During the Holocaust and World War II, Weiser and his mother, Eva Pomeranz-Weiser, spent years separated from one another. While she was interned in Auschwitz, Weiser was hidden in different countries with different families and six different names.

Eva Weiser wrote poetry and became known as the “Poetess of Auschwitz.” Weiser is featured in a video about his life, “The Boy with Six Names” and the book, “The Hide and Seek Children” by Barbara Barnett. This book tells the story of Weiser and other children who spent time at Clonyn Castle in Ireland before being reunited with their families.

When asked why he shares his story, Weiser said, “I try to keep the memory alive, so the next generation knows what happened during the Holocaust and World War II.”

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