This blog series features the Holocaust survivors whose portraits are on view in our installation Eyewitness.

Celia Kener photograph by B.A. Van Sise
Celia Kener photograph by B.A. Van Sise

Celia Kener was born in 1935 in Lvov, Poland. When the Germans invaded in 1941, life totally changed. Her father was drafted into the Russian army while the rest of her family moved into the ghetto. Celia’s mother was selected for a labor camp and was periodically brought in to visit the family on weekends. Her mother found a childless Roman Catholic couple and promised her daughter to them because she didn’t think that she would survive.

Celia was eventually reunited with her mother. The family was liberated by the Russians. Her father escaped the Russian army to an Uzbekistan displaced persons camp under an assumed name and survived.

Celia and her parents came to the United States in 1949. Today, she volunteers her time as a member of the Speakers Bureau of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

Celia Kener spoke at the Museum’s May 2018 Stories Survive Speaker Series event. Watch her program below.