September 2013 NewsFlash

Pocono Medical Center Unveils The Tom Breslauer “Survivors’ Garden”

Pocono Medical Center Unveils The Tom Breslauer “Survivors’ Garden”

The Tom Breslauer “Survivors’ Garden” located on the campus of Pocono Medical Center adjacent to the main lobby. It was created to honor and remember the life of Tom Breslauer, whose tireless commitment to the community and encouraging belief in peace and forgiveness made a positive impact on many lives. “It is our hope that this garden will be a refuge for those in need of a healing environment, similar to the one Tom provided for so many,” said Camille Breslauer.

The late Tom Breslauer of Stroudsburg was a Holocaust survivor who educated hundreds of students and adults throughout the country and was also very active in the community. Mr. Breslauer passed away in May 2009 at the age of 92 but many people will remember Tom by one of his famous quotes, a simple but inspiring message that reflected his remarkable character, “You must not hate, no matter race, color or religion. You don’t have to love everybody, but you must respect human life…and don’t smoke!”

Mr. Breslauer was born in Hamburg, Germany, and immigrated to the United States in 1940 after a lengthy internment in the Dachau Concentration Camp. His father was killed in the Battle of the Somme while fighting in the Germany army in World War I and his mother was killed in Riga Concentration Campus in December 1941. He was forced to leave school when Adolph Hitler came to power in 1933 and then went to work in a shoe factory in Offenbach, Germany.

On November 9, 1938, he was actually arrested on Kristallknacht, the “Night of Broken Glass,” when thousands of Jews were arrested and sent to the Dachau prison camp, where he endured five months of hunger and brutal work. Tom was drafted in 1942 and served from 1942 until 1946 as a member of the United States 79th Infantry Division, where he fought in Europe during World War II. In 1946, he was discharged from the Army with the rank of tech sergeant.

Tom moved to Stroudsburg in 1952 to start and manage the Pocono Shoe Factory and in 1960, he started his own business, Lisa Bee Manufacturing Co., producing women’s blouses. That business was sold in 1982. Tom’s involvement in the community including serving as a past president of Temple Israel; past president of the American Cancer Society; president and treasurer of B’nai B’rith Lodge; treasurer of SCORE; a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary Club of the Stroudsburg; an advisory board member of Northampton Community College, and a board member of Pocono Healthy Communities Alliance. When he retired, he gave hundreds of talks to schools and organizations about his life experiences. Tom always stressed the importance of young people taking responsibility to make this a better world, where people will be able to live in peace and harmony.
Picture: Left to Right – Steve Cunningham, Sr. Vice President & Chief Development Officer, Pocono Health System/Pocono Medical Center, Jane Kanyock, Director of the Pocono Health Foundation, Kathy Lockwood, Board Member of the Pocono Health Foundation, Bill Cramer, Esq., Board Member of the Pocono Health Foundation, Camille Breslauer, and Kathy Kuck, President and CEO, Pocono Health System/Pocono Medical Center.

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