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Renee Fink (Photo: Museum of Coastal Carolina)

OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — A woman who hid from Nazis at just 4-years-old shared her story in the Cape Fear area Tuesday night and it was a story about more than just survival.

Renee Fink, originally from the Netherlands, now lives in North Carolina. Fink presented “Out of Hiding (at last!),” her personal experience of hiding from the events of the Holocaust at the Museum of Coastal Carolina in Ocean Isle Beach.

“I am a child survivor, that’s what we are called ‘hidden children,'” Fink said.

Fink is hidden no more, sharing her story to anyone who will listen.

“The Holocaust has to be remembered so that we can at least arm ourselves with knowledge,” Fink said.

Fink’s story is a familiar one, by the end of World War II, six million Jews were dead and as many as 1.5 million of them were children. For those who survived, many did so in hiding with help.

“Everyone has a story but I think a larger message has to come from out of the fact that I survived. And that people were willing to risk their lives for that,” Fink said.

At 4-years-old Fink was separated from her parents, who she would never see again, and taken in by two strangers who already had 8 children of their own. Strangers she grew close to, known as Momma and Poppa.

“All ten did this at the risk of their lives, to harbor one Jew,” Fink said.

Sentiments that moved dozens to tears.

“They had no choice, they had to do something it was the only right thing to do. And for them it was that simple,” Fink said.

A simple choice for Momma and Poppa, but a hard one for Fink’s grandmother. Fink’s grandmother knew where she was, but was in hiding so she could not get fink until 1945 when the war was ending.

“One winter she walked two nights,” Fink said. “Because Jewish people were not free and you could be picked up, killed on the spot, or taken to the camps. So she walked in the dark of night and hid in the day time and it took her two days and two nights, and she came on my birthday in December.”

Out of Fink’s entire family only she, her aunt and grandmother lived. Now her message to others is one of survival and one of remembrance.

“We have to speak up, speak out and protect what is this wonderful democracy and make sure that we keep it in tact,” Fink said.

Fink and her grandmother left Europe on a boat to America in 1948, but unfortunately due to money they were split up again. Fink was then adopted into another family and lived in the Adirondack Mountains in New York.

To this day Fink still keeps in touch with the three living members of the family who saved her.


Comment on this Story

  • Anne Russell

    “We have to “speak out and protect…this wonderful democracy.” Yes, we do, and rid America of the fascist faux-President Trump and his Congressional and White House enablers. Thank you for your warning, Renee Fink.

    • Jeff

      America was founded as a constitutional republic, not as a democracy.

    • 58thStreetSurfer

      Will you people please get off the Kool-Aid and drop the “Trump/Nazi” nonsense. We have a party who’s former head says 5 minutes before birth isn’t too late for an abortion? Who is the genocidal maniac?

    • Heimie Schmelter

      Annie-girl. So sorry to see that you are still confused and can’t see the advantages of having Trump in office over a screech-voiced pathological liar. You evidently “hate” to see progress in America, over seeing it ravaged by a Clinton again.
      Whatever you see with Trump having to do with this article OR this subject merely displays your very own mental incapacity. Good luck in 2020…if you’re still here.

    • Evelyn Turno

      So now the Holocaust is Trumps fault? makes perfect sense to me. Try to make a difference and get a grip on yourself, Hillary lost.

    • 58thStreetSurfer

      A true liberal can take ANYTHING and try to make it about the President. There are other things you can focus on and possibly make a difference in someone’s life.

  • 58thStreetSurfer

    And people try to say the Holocaust never happened.

    • Heimie Schmelter

      The majority of those non-believers are German and Austrian!

      • Shamma Lammadingdong

        Source, other than your rear end?

      • Heimie Schmelter

        Those guilty of heinous crimes such as this are the first to display denial. There is ample research, so try looking it up and reading a little. Just don’t be peering up my rear end to find it!

      • 58thStreetSurfer

        Thought it was skinheads and neo-Nazis just being jerks.

      • Shamma Lammadingdong

        You still didn’t answer the question by providing your sources. Having done the research, it’s evident you did none of your own to justify your nonsensical claim.

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