CATHEDRAL CITY — Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) honored Holocaust Survivor Alex Iser Reifer on May 16 at a special legislative session for California Holocaust Memorial Week. The Cathedral City man’s daughter Annemarie Campbell and granddaughter traveled to the Capitol for the day’s ceremonies.
Alex Iser Reifer was born in 1921 in Auschwitz, Poland. To escape Nazi persecution, at the age of 18, Mr. Reifer and his family parted ways. Reifer eventually made it to Russia, where he joined the army. He spent many years in the army and eventually made the rank of Captain. He was also the first Russian soldier to meet the American Army and assisted in the liberation of the Jews in several concentration camps. He never lost faith in being reunited with his parents and brothers. But after years of searching and looking, he had to succumb to the fact that they perished in the war. Reifer moved to New York and later married his wife Susan. Mr. and Mrs. Reifer reside in Cathedral City. They have two children and several grandchildren.
“Mr. Reifer’s experience is one that should not be forgotten,” said Garcia. “I would like to commend Mr. Reifer for his bravery and courage in sharing his experiences with us, so that we may learn from and remember the Holocaust.”
California Holocaust Memorial Week recognizes Holocaust survivors, children of survivors, and World War II veteran liberators and honors the millions who lost their lives at the hands of the Nazi Regime. The California Assembly undertakes a Memorial Project, wherein students record survivor and liberator stories to create a firsthand understanding for future generations of the history and impact of the Holocaust. The video interviews are compiled into one shared story that is then distributed to Members, participants and the public. The culmination of the Project is an Assembly Floor Ceremony during which survivors, children thereof, and liberators are honored and a collective voice is raised against genocidal violence.