Celina Karp Biniaz: From Auschwitz to Des Moines

Sep 11, 2017

In a boxcar headed to Switzerland,  13-year-old Celina Karpa "Schindler Jew"was shocked to instead find herself at the Auschwitz concentration camp when the train's doors opened. Soon after, along with hundreds of other women, she was marched into a shower.

"We were wondering, 'are we going to get gas, or are we going to get showers?' You can't imagine the relief, even though we were in Auschwitz, when the water came down."

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, Celina Karp Biniaz talks with host Charity Nebbe about surviving the Auschwitz concentration camp after five years in a forced labor camp in Poland. Biniaz was rescued from Auschwitz by German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who put her name on his list of Jewish factory workers, and who eventually rerouted the women to his ammunition factory in Switzerland.

Following the war, Biniaz and her family immigrated to Des Moines, where Biniaz graduated from North High School and attended Grinnell College. This week Biniaz is in Iowa to sharing her story and its important message.

"You know, you have to be taught to hate. So, that's what I'm working on; trying to tell people, 'Do not teach hatred.'"