Holocaust survivor donates comb to Museum of Jewish Heritage

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BROOKLYN -

A shaved head while in a concentration camp was the motivation for a tiny comb with huge significance to be on display at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

Decades later, the memories of being in Auschwitz still haunt Holocaust survivor Ruth Mermelstein, of Midwood.

"I can't sleep at night because it still bothers me," says Mermelstein. "I can never forget that. I can never forget that, how could you?"

Mermelstein recalls how she and her sister were the only survivors. The rest of the family died in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

During her time of imprisonment, Mermelstein says she made a small metal hair comb from scraps in a factory. She was 16 years old, and her head had been shaved, but for her the comb symbolized freedom and the hair that she lost. The comb, made in 1944, is being well preserved at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. 

The artifact is among several donated by Brooklyn residents for the exhibition called "Auschwitz - Not long ago. Not far away."

Now, the 91-year-old Holocaust survivor can only hope her comb will be a reminder that hate is never the answer.

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