ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A Holocaust survivor shared her story with Grand Valley State University students on Wednesday.
Magda Brown will be 90 in June. She’s on a mission to share her life story with as many people as possible.
At the age of 17, Brown and her family were loaded into a boxcar in their home country of Hungary and sent to a concentration camp in Poland. That was the last time she saw her mother, father, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
After months of torture, Brown was picked to work under dangerous conditions in a factory making bombs. She was able to escape by hiding in a barn for a day and a half before being discovered by American armed forces, after which she joined family members in Chicago.
She said her experiences are not different from what many around the world are dealing with today.
“Today’s situation with the immigration issue — I have been an immigrant. I know what it is to reach for a new world and freedom. So now I am faced with the fact that I am an orphan, I haven’t a home to go to, a parent to guide me. I haven’t a penny to my name. I don’t have a profession and I’m not even 18 years old,” she remembered.
“Genocide does not happen from one minute to the next,” she continued. “It builds gradually. And when you listen to my complete testimony, you will hear as I structure it how our freedom is taken away, how our properties are taken away, all the jobs. Discrimination in every possible level until you are reduced to a lower form than an animal.”
Brown spoke at the Kirkhof Center on GVSU’s Allendale campus Wednesday evening.