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

Long Island

BELLMORE, L.I. — A Holocaust survivor on Long Island turned 100 years young and felt the
extra big birthday love from her community.

An overwhelmed Terry Mermelstein, of Bellmore, said she couldn’t believe the attention she received Friday at her centennial celebration.

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

The Hungary native became a New Yorker in 1948, after surviving the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz — a moment in history that, year after year, this survivor never forgets.

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

Mermelstein said recent antisemitic attacks in New York and around the world have left her feeling alarmed. She encouraged 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 Mermelstein with a proclamation of achievement.

For Mermelstein, 100 years of her stories will 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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