The Holocaust and Humanity Center dedicated its Speakers’ Bureau and resource library in memory of Holocaust survivors Werner and Trudy Coppel.
The Coppels were active in Holocaust education in Cincinnati until their passing.
Both were born in Germany: Werner in Moers in 1925 and Trudy in Gleiwitz (today, Poland) in 1922.
During the war, Werner’s parents and younger brother were deported to Riga, Latvia. He was sent to Auschwitz and never saw them again. Trudy used her nursing skills in the Jewish community for much of the war but later was conscripted into forced labor. The couple met after the war when Trudy nursed Werner back to health.
With their young son, Ron, they moved to Cincinnati in 1949, where a few years later son Steve was born.
In the 1970s, Werner saw an opinion piece in the Cincinnati Enquirer claiming “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank was fake and the Holocaust was a hoax. He wasn’t as upset with the letter’s writer as he was with those who stood in silence.
He began sharing his story to ensure people heard the truth. Throughout Werner’s life, he spoke to tens of thousands of students, educators and others in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. He frequently ran into people who remembered him speaking in their classes years earlier.
“We are proud to honor the legacy of Werner and Trudy Coppel and the impact they had on so many,” said HHC executive director Sarah Weiss. “We will ensure their story and spirit lives on in our work. They leave us with the responsibility to remember, educate and speak up.”
Click on a thumbnail below to view photo gallery from the event.