In Memoriam

Remembering Joe Engel

Remembering Joe Engel
Joe Engel

On November 26, 2022, South Carolina lost a beloved Charleston Holocaust survivor. Joe Engel passed away at age 95. Joe was active in the Charleston community and throughout the state teaching the lessons of the Holocaust and sharing his story of surviving Auschwitz. He was especially committed to speaking to students and stressing the importance of being kind to one another. Joe served on the South Carolina Council on the Holocaust and was a close friend of Selden. Learn more about Joe's story in the links provides.

Joe Engel Resources
  1. Obituary
  2. Documentary on Joe's story of survival
  3. Transcript on Joe's story of survival

Remembering Abe Stern

Remembering Abe Stern
Abe Stern

On November 19, 2021, South Carolina lost another Holocaust survivor, Abe Stern, age 92, of Sumter, SC. Abe was born April 16, 1929 in Lodz, Poland. His family was forced into the Ghetto there and as the war progressed, he was in various concentration camps under horrific conditions as a slave laborer. In 1946 he was able to immigrate to the US and in 1948 he joined the Air Force and was stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter. There Abe met and married Rhea Edelsburg. Mr. Stern was the only Holocaust survivor to make Sumter home after the war. His Holocaust experience is presented at the Sumter County Museum Jewish History Center at Temple Sinai. Mr. Stern was devoted to his family and community and his presence will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Please learn more about Abe Stern's story of survival and his life in Sumter at these links.

Abe Stern Resources
  1. Columbia Holocaust Education Commission Abe Stern Exhibit
  2. Temple Sinai
  3. Obituary

Bluma Goldberg and Marie Gross

Bluma Goldberg
Marie Gross

The Columbia, South Carolina community mourns the loss of two Holocaust survivors, Bluma Goldberg and Marie Gross, who left us on January 21, 2021. Both of these incredible women will be greatly missed by their family, friends and community. As time continues to pass, so do people's memories and understanding of the Holocaust. This Foundation will continue to honor their memory by keeping the events of the Holocaust and its meaningful lessons alive in the classrooms and communities of South Carolina. We are dedicated to educate the youth in our state about these events and to teach them to become citizens who raise awareness and opposition to hate and discrimination of all kinds.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Goldberg and Gross families. Please learn more about their stories of strength, courage, and love by reading their obituaries and archived history with the provided links. May their lives be an inspiration to others.

As chair of the Foundation, I personally am proud to have married into Bluma Goldberg's family. My mother-in-law, Cela Miller, was her sister. Together they survived the hatred inflicted upon them for just being Jewish. Bluma was our family matriarch for many years and our last physical link to our family's Holocaust history. A beautiful woman who bestowed upon her family much love. Along with their husbands, Felix and David, both couples immigrated to Columbia in 1949 sponsored by the local Jewish community. The couples became close friends with Dr. Selden Smith and he encouraged them to share their story with students, teachers and the community. Their video testimonies can be viewed by clicking the survivor/liberator link on this website.

Minda Miller SKS Holocaust Education Foundation Chair
Bluma Goldberg Resources
  1. A Tale of Two Sisters
  2. Staing Together
  3. Legacy of a Matriarch
  4. Obituary

Dr. Marie Gross moved to Columbia in 2004 to be close to family. Her story of surviving under false identification is amazing. A very accomplished woman who after the war earned both a dental and medical degree. I fondly remember Mrs. Gross's smiling face at senior socials she enjoyed attending. Am honored to have known her.

Minda Miller SKS Holocaust Education Foundation Chair
Marie Gross Resources
  1. Surviving With False Identities
  2. Surviving Liberation
  3. Obituary

Our community mourns the passing of Dr. Selden Smith

It is with much sadness and a heavy heart that I share the news of the passing of Dr. Selden K. Smith on February 12, 2018 at the age of 88.

Dr. Smith devoted much of his life to justice, tolerance and combatting hatred. He was truly the "father" of Holocaust Education in South Carolina. His tireless efforts to teach the lessons of the Holocaust have been an inspiration to many and his mentorship and guidance has influenced others to follow in his footsteps.


Read how Selden Smith tansformed Holocaust education in the Midlands