Assemblymember Levine Recognizes Herbert Heller on Holocaust Remembrance Day

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

(Sacramento)- Assemblymember Marc Levine, (D-Marin County), honored Herbert “Herb” Heller on Yom HaShoah at the State Assembly’s annual Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony hosted by the California Legislative Jewish Caucus.

“The retelling of the horrors of the Holocaust is necessary because we as a democratic society need to carry with us the memory that our institutions are very capable of breaking down and being turned against us. We must keep a check on politicians who use hatred and bigotry to get elected to office.” said Assemblymember Levine. “I’m proud to work with the Jewish Caucus each year to bring heroes like Herb to the Capitol so everyone can learn their stories so history does not repeat itself.”

Herb Heller was born in Czechoslovakia in 1929. As a teenager he was deported to Terezin Concentration Camp. In 1944, he along with his whole family was deported to Auschwitz where he appeared before Dr. Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi ‘Angel of Death’. After 8 months all the inmates in the camp were forcefully marched through the snow away from Russian and American armies. Three days into the forced march, Heller found a backpack in the ice with civilian clothing in it. He put on the clothes, escaped the march and eventually made his way back to Prague.

In November 1946, Herb and his mother arrived in San Francisco. Herb joined the Army Reserves, became a US Citizen in 1952 and ran Heller’s Baby News in San Rafael for over 50 years.