Holocaust survivor from Long Beach shares her story in memoir

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A 92-year-old Holocaust survivor is sharing her story with the world.

Gerda Seifer, who lives in Long Beach, published her memoirs in "The Girl in the Cellar: Surviving the Holocaust in Nazi-Occupied Poland."

"What the Germans planned to do was load cattle trains and send people into gas chambers, so I went into hiding," recalled Seifer.

The book details Seifer's life in Poland during World War II, as the then-teenager lived under a secret identity until the war was over.

"A Polish woman was willing to hide me for money," Seifer said. "She put me into the cellar and told me to be quiet and sit on the box until the roundups were over."

Out of 38 immediate family members, Gerda and her cousin were the only relatives to survive the Holocaust. Gerda never saw her mother or father again.

After the war, Gerda went to England, became a nurse and started a new life in America. She and her husband now have three children and four grandchildren.

Over the years, Gerda has shared her story by speaking to kids at local high schools. She hopes to pass on the lessons of tolerance to another generation.

"Give everyone a chance. Sure, there are bad people and good people in every group," said Gerda. "Be positive and look for the best things in everybody."

Gerda's book, "The Girl in the Cellar: Surviving the Holocaust in Nazi-Occupied Poland," can be found on Amazon.
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