SAN DIEGO — Family and friends gathered to honor the life of Rose Schindler as she was laid to rest Sunday.
Rose passed away Friday at the age of 93. She survived the Holocaust and spent many years educating and sharing her story with San Diegans and beyond.
Her family remembered her as brave, strong, loving and fearless.
She shared her story at Hillel Hall in UCSD just three weeks before she passed away.
“I kind of described her as pure love, sometimes it’s tough love but it’s pure love,” said Ben Schindler, Rose’s son. Ben was Rose’s manager and helped her publish a book, sharing her and her husband’s stories of surviving the holocaust, losing both their families, finding love and creating their own family in San Diego.
“My mother overcame the worst of humanity and led a blessed and magical life. She was marked by the Holocaust but not defined by it,” said Steven Schindler, Rose’s other son during the ceremony Sunday.
Rose was 14 years old when she said she had lied to the Nazis that she was 18, a lie that ended up saving her life as she escaped a gas chamber, but her family did not.
“As mom taught everyone, with whom she shared her incredible story. She remembered her father’s final words to her. ‘Stay together as you will have a much better chance of surviving and live so you can tell the world what is happening to us,'” her son Jeff Schindler said during the service.
Rose had shared the same story many times during her speaking engagements. And she lived by those words from her father, continuing to share her story to hundreds at local high schools, universities and worldwide podcasts.
Her family said countless children and adults are better people because Rose shared her story.
“Rose Schindler really was a hero of the San Diego community, not just the Jewish community but more broadly, there’s not a person of any faith or background who doesn’t remember hearing Rose Schndler’s story,” said Raul Campillo, a San Diego Councilmember who represents District 7.
Her family said Rose battled various type of cancer and suffered a stroke in January and found out she had pancreatic cancer in January.
“May you find peace and healing and give papa a big hug from us, we love you forever,” one of Rose’s granddaughters said during her ceremony.