Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, has selected Maria Segal as this year’s Holocaust survivor honoree.
Monday’s ceremony was part of the Holocaust Remembrance Week in California, April 27-May 4.
“Ms. Segal’s story is incredibly powerful and is a reminder of the horrors Jews faced from the Nazis,” Williams said. “Her work with the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara is giving the next generation an invaluable gift.”
Segal was born June 15, 1935, in Okuniew, Poland — near Warsaw. Soon after the war broke out in 1939, her family was taken to the Warsaw Ghetto. She escaped from the Ghetto with the help of a Polish woman, Stasia, but her entire family was taken to a concentration camp and never saw them again.
Segal hid in cornfields and an attic alone for several days in order to escape from the Germans. It took 50 years for her to share her past with her children and friends.
When Segal moved to Santa Barbara, she became involved with the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara, where she now speaks to students and various groups about the Holocaust. She has also found working with at-risk teenagers to be a wonderful experience.
Segal published her memoir in 2009, which was a healing process for her and a legacy for her family.
“I urge anyone who is given the opportunity to attend an event hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara, to do so,” Williams said.
For the past 10 years, the California Assembly has honored survivors of the Holocaust during the California Holocaust Remembrance Week. This year, the United States Holocaust Memorial Council has designated Monday, April 28 as Yom Hashoah — the International Day of Remembrance.
— Josh Molina represents Assemblyman Das Williams.