Alice Kern (left) a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, talks to students Wednesday during a break in her speech at McKay High School.

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McKay youths hear Holocaust survivor

The speaker was at Auschwitz and was part of death march

Statesman Journal

June 1, 2006

Holocaust survivor Alice Kern had to think quick when her four young daughters asked about the numbers tattooed on her arm.

“I told them, ‘This is Hitler’s telephone number,'” Kern said.

Kern didn’t share the horrors of her concentration-camp years with her daughters as they were growing up because she did not want them to learn to hate, she told a crowd of teenagers Wednesday at McKay High School. The students have been studying the Holocaust in their English classes.

Kern, who lives in Portland, was born in 1923 in Romania. At 20, she was taken by cattle car to Auschwitz. After eight months there, she was part of the infamous death march to Bergen-Belsen. She was 22 when Allied forces liberated the camp.