The name Hedy Epstein is a household word among those of us involved in the Palestinian cause. She is a Jewish woman, a holocaust survivor, yet despite her age being 84 she has tirelessly lived the mantra of ‘Never Again’….. TO ANYONE!

The following report shows her determination to continue the struggle despite a personal setback….. we need thousands more like Hedy.

Guest speaker hurt in assault

By Janese Heavin

An “inspirational” speaker for 15 years at the Missouri Scholars Academy was attacked this week after visiting the Columbia camp.

Hedy Epstein: Holocaust survivor

Hedy Epstein, an 84-year-old Holocaust survivor, was walking to her home from a Metrolink station in St. Louis on Wednesday when someone pushed her hard from behind. She fell to the ground and lay in a state of shock, bleeding profusely from her chin.

The attack occurred so quickly, Epstein said, that she thought she saw a man running but can’t remember what he looked like. She forced herself to get home and called a friend when the bleeding would not stop. At the hospital, doctors determined an artery had been nicked.

The attack might not have been random.

Epstein is part of a movement opposed to Israel’s treatment of Gaza and has received threatening messages.

After she gave a television interview earlier this year, someone left a phone message telling Epstein she should be ashamed of herself. In the message, the caller threatened to visit St. Louis and “give you a piece of my mind and spit on your ugly face. … We will find a way to deal with protesters of your type.”

Epstein has since given the transcribed message to police.

On Thursday, Epstein said she received an e-mail from someone asking whether she is trying to help free the Israeli soldier abducted by Palestinians more than two years ago. “Is there a connection” between the attack and e-mail? she asked. “It’s not obvious, but there might be.”

Her injuries have forced Epstein to cancel a planned trip to Gaza this month, but she’s planning another trip there in August. She said she won’t let the threats or her attack stop her.

After all, Epstein has experienced worse.

She was 8 when Adolf Hitler came to power while she and her family were living in Germany. Five years later, Epstein was taken to England with 500 other Jewish children.

From a foster home, she continued to correspond with her parents until 1942, when she received back-to-back letters from them. Though written separately, both her father and mother told her they were going to an “undisclosed location” and that it would be a long time before she would hear from them again.

Years later, Epstein found out what they meant: Both had been sent to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. “I didn’t know that at the time,” she said. “So when my parents said it may be a long time, I wanted to know how long. I wanted so much to be reunited.”

Hearing that story during the Missouri Scholars Academy this week hit home for Grace Sparapani, a scholar from Nixa. “I can’t imagine not seeing your parents again,” she said. “It really made me appreciate mine more.”

Epstein is “absolutely amazing,” Grace added. “I can’t even imagine how much courage it takes to talk about that … What she’s doing is really brave.”

The scholars made a “Get Well” card to send to Epstein, said Chris Young, a spokesman for the camp. “Hedy’s a very inspiring individual,” he said. “The scholars wanted to do something to show her that they care for her.”

The attack might have caused her body to bruise, but it did little to injure her spirit. She said she’s as determined as ever to continue opposition efforts against the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians in Gaza.

“I know what it means to be discriminated against and to suffer,” she said. “I care profoundly about issues of justice and fairness and peace. And I care about people — not just Jewish people. I care about everybody.”



  1. FatNSassy said,

    June 21, 2009 at 20:23

    What a brave and remarkable woman. A role model to us all. I hope she recovers quickly.

  2. Terry said,

    June 21, 2009 at 20:55

    Two years ago, I got my truck “keyed”…scratched with a key down one side.
    I had a U.S. Army sticker on the back camper shell window. I’m a vet. I used to get flipped off and didn’t know why.

    I replaced that sticker with a Free Palestine sticker I picked up at a exhibit table at my local university and put it where the army sticker had been.
    I would still get flipped off.

    Yesterday morning I went outside to check on how my tomatoes were growing and I saw that someone had keyed me again.

    Like the song goes, you can’t please everyone, so you better please yourself.
    It pleases me to help people that are oppressed.

  3. June 21, 2009 at 20:59

    All the best, get well soon.

  4. Matt said,

    June 21, 2009 at 22:48

    This is a precious human being and it is very good to know that she is Jew, my human sister!
    “Both had been sent to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland.” should be : Both had been sent to the Auschwitz, German Nazis death camp in Poland.
    Both had been sent to the Auschwitz, German Nazis death camp.
    The original sentence doesn’t say clearly who organized the death camp, and sentence gives misleading information for somebody who doesn’t know history very well.
    I know that this sentence was not written on purpose.

  5. Aldred said,

    June 22, 2009 at 00:05

    I pray for her. Cowards that attack 80+ year old women seems to be a hallmark of those in the POWER these days …..
    She is like Hattie Farley who fought the Corrupt Sanilac County Michigan government until her end. There were TWO “militias” in Sanilac when the Bomb in Oklahoma went off. Hattie Farley was in the citizen’s militia (that was put on display by the MSM) attempting to legally and peacefully defend property owners from “the Good Old Boys”. Sheriff Virgil Strickler was business partner/BFF with Dave E Rydel, the “Commandant” of the united States Theatre Command that is NAMED in the FBI’s report “Project Meggido”.
    FUNNY that the “investigation” of the Oky Bomb never got around to the BOMBERS.

  6. Zimbabalouie said,

    June 22, 2009 at 00:49

    Zionist, Jewish fanatics, Racist Rabbi’s who live in a false state, run by the world’s deadliest organized crime syndicate revelling in battering little old Jewish ladies for having an opinion or killing women and children because they are in the way of their next land theft.

    Sounds to me that the master race of Israel is nothing more than a cabal of cowards. Personally if it were my mother who was pushed or threatened I would not hesittate to begin an attack on the cowardly cabal that would make their crimes in Gaza look like a day at the midway of a county fair.

    The Zionist need to be given the full respect of their whimpering claims of historical persecutions. The time to treat them exactly as they claim to have been treated is now. The time to give them the benefit of their maniacle genocidal treatment of the Palestinians is now.

    The time to take the Zionist to task and thrust upon their supporters the fierce and deadly rage they have built in the hearts of compassionate humans is now. Since the cowardly cabal has sought to begin the third World War let it begin in the homes, settlements, and communities of those who support the inhuman acts of the lying cowardly cabal.

    Gilad is just a excuse to get that happy feeling in their loins by abusing and killing innocent and defenseless people with the justification that the victims brought it on themselves. Oh how happy Adolph would be to see his Zionist prodigy’s follow through with the insanity of the master race scheme.

    Let us all raise our right hands, palms down, and begin our praise of the Zionists cowardly cabal and their supporters Hail Netanyahu or Goofy, or whatever other cartoon lunatic might be available to lead the cowardly cabal in their quest to be the ultimate villians on this planet.

  7. Barbara said,

    June 22, 2009 at 03:03

    Thanks for bringing this wonderful woman to my attention. We certainly need more brave strong souls like her on the planet.

    I might be a lil bit foolish but my hunches usually bear me out. I read about the cowardly attack from behind and, well, it reeks of an infamous group of folks that work in underhanded ways all around the world. Can anyone figure out what the last letter of these three might be? A D ?

  8. Rampaging Manatee said,

    June 22, 2009 at 03:25

    Get well soon Ms. Epstein. I wouldn’t hold my breath on the police ”’investigation”’ but karma is on our side and what goes around… you know the rest.

  9. June 22, 2009 at 04:29

    I must echo the remark of ‘FatNSassy’ and add the following – this is the true character of a hero – she does not look to blame or seek vengeance – she merely wants to spread the truth about that dark period of history.

    I suppose those who cannot accept the truth of history will also deny the attack on this brave woman – may you all be too ashamed to show your faces in public. May you discover the ‘blessing’ of being judged for who you are rather than for what you have done – learn what it means to truly be hated, then learn the lessons of history … though it may be too late for some of you.


  10. lancethruster said,

    June 22, 2009 at 17:19

    Thank you Hedy, for having the courage of your convictions.

    Be safe.

  11. Paul said,

    June 29, 2009 at 15:55

    This kind of story has to upset anyone reading it. I have always believed that the more problems and rough patches in your life that you go through and endure, the better a person you will be because of it. I think that her character is testament to her life.

%d bloggers like this: