A 91-year-old holocaust survivor who spent years recounting her life story for audiences across Connecticut and around the world, was killed in a car crash Tuesday.
State police say Henny Simon was driving on Parum Road, near Dutton Road, around 3 p.m. when her car swerved off the road and crashed into a tree near her Colchester home.
Simon was taken to Backus Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
Henny Simon was the author of "Am I My Brother's Keeper? The Story of a Holocaust Survivor" and often spoke at Connecticut schools, churches and community centers about "the horrors of the Holocaust."
"She was one of the kindest people I've ever met. Considering what she went through, it's amazing to me that she was able to forgive," Rabbi Ken Alter, of Congregation Ahavath Achim, in Colchester, said.
Jerry Fischer, executive director of the Jewish Federation of New London, said Simon's death is a huge loss.
"The loss of an exceptional woman who was kind and spirited and willing to share her life experiences with hundreds, if not thousands, of students," he said.
Fischer said he heard Simon's story several times.
Simon grew up in Germany and was trapped there before before being sent to Nazi concentration camps in Latvia and Poland when she was a teen. Simon's mother was killed during the war. Russian troops liberated Simon’s camp in Poland in 1945 and she later emigrated to the United States to reunite with her father.
Simon and her husband Abram Markiewicz, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, settled in Colchester and bought a poultry and cattle farm, according to her obituary. Marckiewicz died in 1976 and Simon married Robert Simon in 1981. Robert Simon died in May of 2001.
Funeral services are scheduled for Friday at Ahavath Achim synagogue in Colchester.
The crash remains under investigation. Police ask that anyone who witnessed the crash should call Trooper Kokoszka at Troop K at 860-465-5400 ex. 4030.