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Weiner survived 5 different concentration camps, but was fatally struck by a car in Hillsboro last year

GAZETTE PHOTO: RAY PITZ - The West family, from left, Livvy, Gabby, Stephanie and Noah, display tributes to the late Holocaust survivor Alter Wiener while in Snyder Park. Plans are to build a bench, plaque and peace pole in Wieners honor. So powerful was the message of Holocaust survivor Alter Wiener, and so beloved was he as a person, that Sherwood residents Stephanie West and Paula Schafer are raising funds to construct a bench, peace pole and plaque in Snyder Park as a lasting tribute.

Wiener, a prolific speaker on the horrors of the Nazi Germany concentration camps, lost his life last winter after being struck by a car in Hillsboro where he lived.

"Alter was an intrinsic part of our community and he was very well-connected," said West.

When Wiener, who lost 123 members of his extended family in the Holocaust, was finished speaking, West's daughter, Gabby, got to ask him a question.

"I asked if he missed his brother who died in the Holocaust," recalled Gabby. "And he said, 'life is temporary but love is forever.'"

Both West and Schafer plan to have that very message of hope inscribed on a plaque adjacent to the bench, along with a portrait of Wiener. The message will appear in Polish, German, Russian and English.

Wiener was 13 when his father was murdered by Nazis. At age 15, Wiener was taken to a forced labor camp. He spent time in five different concentration camps before being liberated in 1945.

So far, the City of Sherwood has said it will provide a $1,000 Community Enhancement Grant for the bench project. Now, both Schafer and West are hoping to collect another $1,500 to fund the remaining costs of the project. Hopes are to have everything ready to go by September.

Anyone wishing to make donations for the bench, a Sherwood Rotary peace pole and a memorial plaque can do so through any U.S. Bank in the name of the Alter Weiner Foundation.

Both West and Schafer were at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education when Gov. Kate Brown signed Oregon's Holocuast and Genocide Education Bill into law on July 15. Gabby, Livvy and Noah also testified earlier during an Oregon Senate Education Committee meeting in support of the bill.

Click here to read the rest of the story in The Times.


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