Poetry. Literary Nonfiction. Jewish Studies. Memoir. Translated from the German by Elborg Foster. Though Hilda Stern wrote about her experiences for a few years after the war, first in a DP camp and then in New York, she hid her notebooks after her marriage to Werner Cohen. A mother and Jewish teacher, she also spoke to school groups of her experiences during the war—two years before she died, Hilda did extensive recorded interviews with storyteller Gail Rosen. However, only after her death did her husband discover the seven faded German notebooks of a half century before and their 150 poems and prose texts. The interviews with Rosen and translations of her Hilda's German poetry by Elborg Forster were brought together by the editors—Werner V. Cohen, Gail Rosen, and William Gilcher—to produce WORDS THAT BURN WITHIN ME: FAITH, VALUES, SURVIVAL.
Hilda Stern Cohen (1927-1997) was born in the village of Nieder-Ohmen, Hesse, Germany. Arrested by the Gestapo with her parents and sister in October 1941, they were deported to Łódź, Poland. Her parents died of starvation and illness. In August 1944, Hilda was part of a last transport to be sent Auschwitz, where she was reunited with her sister; evacuated by the Nazis on a Death March before the advancing Russian troops, she and her sister were liberated near Berlin on May 3, 1945. After more than a year in a Displaced Persons Camp in Austria where she wrote prose piece and poems originally composed earlier in the war, she and her sister emigrated to New York in 1946. She married Werner Cohen in 1948 and had three daughters. Her German notebooks were only discovered by her husband after her death. Author City: BALTIMORE, MD USA