Wednesday marked the 75th anniversary of Margit Feldman’s liberation from the Bergen Belsen concentration camp in Nazi Germany. On Tuesday, the Holocaust survivor and New Jersey resident died at age 90 due to complications from the coronavirus.
Feldman was born in Budapest and grew up in a small village near the border of what was then Czechoslovakia before being detained with her parents by the Nazis and sent to Auschwitz. Her parents were murdered in the concentration camp, but Feldman lied about her age, saying she was 18 rather than 15, putting her into forced labor.
She survived several concentration camps, including a return trip to Auschwitz and a death march to Bergen Belsen. Feldman was 16 when British forces liberated her.
Feldman briefly moved to Sweden before discovering an aunt and uncle in the United States, allowing her to relocate to New Jersey in 1947.
She became a x-ray technician and married Harvey Feldman in 1953. The two had a son, Joseph, and daughter, Tina, and three grandchildren.
Gov. Phil Murphy spent part of the Thursday’s daily coronavirus press briefing remembering Feldman’s life, from her Holocaust survival to building a new life in New Jersey while spreading her inspirational story.
“Margit’s legacy is best captured in her work to ensure that the world never forgets the horrors of the Holocaust,” Murphy said. “She would share her story of survival and liberation with tens of thousands of students across the state, and served as a founding member of both the New Jersey Holocaust Education Commission, and the Holocaust and Genocide Institute at Raritan Valley Community College.”
Her husband Harvey Feldman is currently hospitalized at Morristown Medical Center with the coronavirus. Joseph Feldman is a doctor in East Orange, working on the front lines to fight the pandemic.
During her life in New Jersey, Margit Feldman became an active member in her synagogue and with the Jewish Federation in Hunterdon, Warren and Sussex counties, along with other organizations.
“Margit gave us so much hope over her 90-plus years,” Murphy said.
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