Holden Honors Pasadena Holocaust Survivor at Capitol Ceremony

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sacramento – In a moving ceremony today at the State Capitol, Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) honored Holocaust survivor Ike Langholz of Pasadena whose nightmarish journey through the Nazi occupation of Poland was recounted on the Assembly floor as part of Holocaust Remembrance Week.

“I am honored to be able to share Ike Langholz’ story of survival in the face of incredible pain and suffering at the hands of the Nazis,” said Assemblymember Holden.  “Ike lived through extreme persecution and horrific experiences during this agonizing dark history.  The number of survivors is dwindling, so we are here today to raise awareness of these dark events and honor Ike for his courage and his willingness to tell his story.”

Ike’s story begins as 8-yer-old along the Poland/Ukraine border.  Following the Nazi conquest of Poland in 1939, any sense of normalcy became impossible.  Jews were beaten and forced to work in labor camps or killed simply because they were Jews. Three of Ike’s six brothers and sisters, as well as his mother, grandmother, and other family members were killed by the Nazi SS. Ike and his brother Sam ran away from the labor camp where they had been forced to work as slave labor and hid in the woods, surviving on potatoes and sugar beets and their own skills.

With the liberation of the camps by Russian troops in the waning days of World War II, Ike and his brother, two sisters and their father made their way to a displaced persons camp in Germany.  There he learned a trade as an electrician and said he “learned to be human again”.

Ike and his brother arrived in Pasadena in 1951 and soon got jobs and later owned a small retail business.  He married Faye Chason and they have four children and six grandchildren. 

The now 88-year-old survivor looks back on those years and says it is important to remember:
“For decades I was silent, but I and other survivors have an important story to tell so that no child will have to deal with the hatred and violence that my family experienced.”

Photos available on request.