4/17/2024 Update:

If you were unable to attend in person, we’ve uploaded the video on PSF TV which may be streamed at any time. Watch here: https://perrysburgschoolsfoundation.org/psf-watch-live-now/

Under “Related Videos” search “Butter” to find the correct video.

The community is invited to a special presentation by Holocaust Survivor Dr. Irene (Hasenberg) Butter at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, 2024  in the auditorium of Perrysburg Junior High School, located at 550 E. South Boundary St. Perrysburg, OH. 

Dr. Butter was born in Berlin, Germany in 1930 but fled to Amsterdam, Holland in 1937 with her family to escape Hitler and the Nazi Regime. In June 1943, the family was deported first to Westerbork, a transit camp, and then in February 1944, to a German concentration camp, Bergen-Belsen, where a large number of inmates died from terrorist practices including slave labor, malnutrition and epidemics.

She is one of the last known people alive today to have made personal contact with Anne Frank, who was in an adjacent section of the camp. Irene will share her story of survival including how her family managed to be included in a rare exchange of German citizens and prisoners of war for Jews who had obtained South and Central American passports.

On the second night of the Red Cross Train transport towards freedom in January 1945, her father died from the torture and starvation suffered in the camps. Dr. Butter, age 14, was then separated from her surviving mother and brother and deported to North Africa to a refugee camp. Eighteen months later, the three were reunited in New York City and began their new life in America. 

Dr. Butter published her memoir,  Shores Beyond Shores/From Holocaust to Hope, which will be available for purchase and  her signature at the event. Copies will be a special price of $12 for this event only! 

This visit by Dr. Butter to the Perrysburg community is in addition to her meeting with 450+  8th grade students at the Jr. High earlier in March as part of the English Language Arts curriculum on the Holocaust. “Each year, we spend time building background knowledge about the Holocaust; learning about propaganda and the rise of Nazi Germany, ‘walking in the shoes’ of survivors by reading Gerda Weissmann Klein’s excerpt from All But My Life  and Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night,” explained Megan Helman, Perrysburg Junior High School English Teacher.

“Students were also required to select an independent reading book about this time period to help enhance their learning and understanding. Many of our students will also attend the eighth grade Washington D.C. trip in June, where they will tour the Holocaust Memorial Museum. We find that our students are very much engaged and interested in learning about this time period. Their thinking is changed and challenged, while also finding connection with these personal stories. Dr. Butter’s personal story brought this unit of study to a meaningful close by offering hope amongst some of the darkest times. She truly is a blessing!”

Perrysburg Schools Foundation is sponsoring Dr. Butter’s community event, which will be followed by a dessert reception. For further information, please visit www.irenebutter.com.

This event is free and open to the public. While registration is not required, in order to plan accordingly, those who are interested in attending are encouraged to complete the form linked here: https://forms.gle/kbw6Haod38daEMTE7, or contact Chris Snyder by email at csnyder@perrysburgschools.net or phone 419-874-9131 ext. 2157. Please include your name, the number of attendees and your email address.