Learn their history

Colchester - posted Oct, 26 2012

COLCHESTER- On Sunday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m., Congregation Ahavath Achim will host two speakers who will present their life experiences from before, during and after World War II and the Holocaust. Henny Markiewicz Simon was born in Hanover, Germany and is a survivor of the Holocaust. Mrs. Simon was liberated in Poland where she met her future husband, Abraham Markiewicz. They were married in 1945 and left Poland to go back to Germany hoping to find some family that may have survived. Her son Jacob was born in Germany. In 1949, she and her family arrived in the U.S. where they bought a chicken/dairy farm in Colchester. Their daughter was born here. Mrs. Simon now has 5 grandchildren. Mrs. Simon is an active volunteer: she delivers Meals on Wheels, helps with the Red Cross bloodmobile, is active in Hadassah, and is on the board of the Strochlitz Holocaust Research Center. Since 1986, she has been speaking at schools and to other groups about her life before, during and after the Holocaust. Ben Cooper was born in 1921 in Avon, and is a lifelong resident of West Hartford. He attended George Washington University from 1940 to 1941. From January 1942 until September 1942, he was employed at Colt’s Firearms testing machine guns, when he was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to Camp Barkeley, Texas for medical training. In 1944 he married Dorothy Zaitlin. In September of that year, Mr. Cooper was sent to Naples, Italy where he was assigned to the 45th Infantry Division as a combat medic. He served in France and Germany and took part in the liberation of Dachau Concentration Camp with his outfit. In 2009, after 65 years of marriage, Mr. Cooper lost his wife. He has 4 children, 6 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Since 1990 he has been speaking to high school and college students, as well as civic groups about his experiences. The public is welcome and the event will be followed with light refreshments and a chance to meet the speakers. For more information, call the synagogue at 860-537-2809

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