‘God wanted me to live’: Long Island Holocaust survivor turns 100


LONG ISLAND (WPIX)— A Long Island, New York Holocaust survivor turns 100 years young and felt the
extra big birthday love from her community.

An overwhelmed Terry Mermelstein of Bellmore said she doesn’t believe the attention she received on June 4 at her centennial celebration.

“I never dreamed about this, I never expected what was here today,” said Mermelstein.

Turning 100 years young, the Hungary native became a New Yorker in 1948, after surviving the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.

That’s a moment in history that year after year, this survivor never forgets.

“I hope that will never happen again,” said Mermestein. “You never know what’s going to happen. I never knew that I’d be here.”

Mermelstein wishes others will remember the Holocaust, so history won’t repeat itself. She’s alarmed over the ongoing antisemitic attacks around the world and in New York and encourages others to open their minds and hearts.

“There was always hatred about the Jews, I don’t know why,” said Mermelstein.

On her birthday, her house was filled with the love of her family and elected officials who honored her with a proclamation of achievement.

For Mermelstein, 100 years of her stories continue to be told of survival and her passion for her community, art, and her family.

“It’s a miracle I never dreamed. I don’t know, God wanted me to live and tell. I lived through Hitler; God wanted me to live,” she said.

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