Friends and family gathered Friday morning to say farewell to Holocaust survivor and author Alter Wiener, who died Tuesday, Dec. 11, when he was struck by a car near his Hillsboro home.
A celebration of Wiener's life was held Dec. 14 at Congregation Neveh Shalom in Portland after a graveside service at Ahavai Shalom Cemetery. Wiener was 92.
Wiener, who immigrated to the United States from Poland after World War II, is the author of "64735: From a Name to a Number: A Holocaust Survivor's Autobiography." When Wiener was 13, his father was murdered by German soldiers in September 1939. Wiener was sent to the Blechammer forced labor camp at 15. He spent time in five concentration camps. He was 18 and weighed just 80 pounds, when his camp was liberated in 1945 by the Russian army. He was one of only two surviving members of his entire extended family.
Wiener moved to New York City, earned a high school diploma at age 38, went on to college, got married and started a family. He moved to Hillsboro in 2000.
Wiener had said that he didn't always feel compelled to share his story, but after seeing the impact it had, he began to hold talks at schools, churches, synagogues and more. He shared his story with close to 1,000 audiences.