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The Life and Legacy Project

This project is dedicated to preserving the memories and legacies of Holocaust Survivors who lived in San Diego. By highlighting individuals that experienced the atrocities of the Holocaust and then rebuilt their lives in San Diego, we are able to connect future generations to the lessons of the Holocaust.

It is our goal to add EVERY SURVIVOR who lived in San Diego to this book. We are seeking to connect with local Survivors and the families of those that have already passed. This book will be updated every time we receive a new story.

Submissions will capture brief descriptions of each Survivor’s location/journey during the war, their immigration story as it relates to San Diego and their family and words for future generations.

Please see a real life submission below.



Meet Ben Midler

Given name: Bencion

Date of birth: June 27, 1928

Place of birth:  Bialystok, Poland

During the war Ben survived six concentration and labor camps: Majdanek, Bliszin, Auschwitz – Birknau, Sachsenhausen, Ohrdruf and Babelsberg.  Some of Ben’s Aunts and Uncles were lucky enough to move out of Poland before the war. Of those who remained in Poland, Ben was the only survivor of all his relatives.

Ben reunited with his three Aunts living in Chicago, Illinois. He worked as a foreman at Twin Oaks Dairy for 18 years and then left to purchase his own auto parts store.  For health reasons, he moved to San Diego in 1984, and he continued to work in auto parts.

Ben and his wife Esther have been happily married since 1951. They have 3 daughters, 6 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.


“Don’t let the experiences of the past define your future."  — Ben Midler, Survivor



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