Magda Herzberger: A story of Compassion

7 years ago Triangle 0

By: Hannah Eckert

Triangle Editor

Magda Herzberger gives an account of her life. Photo Credit: Nicole Baker
Magda Herzberger gives an account of her life. Photo Credit: Nicole Baker

February 29 will live on in the memories of Bryan students for many years to come. That unforgettable day when our chapel speaker received three standing ovations from a packed auditorium.

All because of one woman; one strong, brave, loving woman who shared her incredible story of triumph over three Holocaust concentration camps: Auschwitz, Bremen and Bergen-Belsen, and the experiences that could have easily taken her life.

On February 29 Bryan College had the honor and the privilege of welcoming Mrs. Magda Herzberger to the stage.

When Magda Herzberger stepped out on stage she received a thunderous applause from every student, faculty, and visitor. She smiled and proudly told her audience she felt like a movie star walking out to such an applause.

From the beginning of her speech till the final applause Mrs. Herzberger had her entire audience entranced. Her story began in Romania where she was born. Magda was much like any other teenager before World War II, and Hitler’s rise to power. She had a loving mother and father, uncles, cousins and other relatives.
By the end of WWII, much of Magda’s family was killed along with the six million Jews who were tortured and killed over the span of 1939-1945. At the end of the war, all that remained of Magda’s family was her mother and three cousins.

Through Magda Herzberger’s story their memory lives on, a promise that she made many years ago. To carry on the memories of those who were tortured and killed by the acts and atrocities of the Nazis.

The day Magda was separated from her beloved father and uncle they gave her guidelines of behavior. She made two promises that day. To never hate no matter what came because it would destroy you from the inside out, and to always show a level of compassion and love no matter the situation.

Magda Herzberger said a great many things during that chapel but no two things stood out more to me than these. “Our faith in God helps us to overcome our greatest trials.”

In response to her ordeals through the Holocaust where she was forced to drag the dead bodies of the fallen and dig graves. She said, “The Holocaust could not kill my love and compassion.”

The Holocaust should never be forgotten. The six million who lost their lives in the death camps cannot be in vain. It is our responsibility to recognize these atrocities so that their memory can live on and such suffering can never happen again. 

Magda’s book “Survival.” Photo Credit:

            To learn more of Magda’s story you can purchase Magda’s book, “Survival.” In it is a full account of her dealing during WWII, her courage and her compassion.