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Broward Holocaust Survivor Celebrates 100th Birthday

Goodman Jewish Family Services Hosts Event
A Pembroke Pines man who escaped from the Nazis celebrated a milestone birthday Tuesday. The lovable Steve Berkowicz turned 100 years old and his biggest fans threw him a huge party.

The Goodman Jewish Family Services in Plantation hosted a bash with pizza, cake and scores of friends.

The birthday boy has a century of stories to tell but the most incredible story is one of survival. In 1946, Berkowicz and his family were forced from their home in Poland by the Germans. His family was taken to a concentration camp and he was moved to a labor camp.

“The German hit me in the head and shoot me in my leg. I fall on the sidewalk. Three guys were still standing and the truck started moving and he killed them and they fall on me,” said Berkowicz.

He would find a friend who helped him escape and hide. “He was driving slow and give me a chance to jump. I jumped in the forest,” said Berkowicz.

The survivor walked alone for three days through the forest. He then found a lone house with a guard dog that stopped barking as Berkowicz approached. He would survive by sharing dog food.

Berkowicz then left and hid for three years until he was finally issued a VISA to the United States through a Jewish organization in Switzerland.

He worked at a metal factory in New York until retiring to Pembroke Pines. Berkowicz says he didn’t think he would live pass 75 years old. He’s not quite sure what’s behind his longevity.

“My secret. I don’t know. I drink 2 glasses of milk every day,” said Berkowicz.

A century of living, experiences and triumph rewarded with the greatest gift — friends quick with a kiss.

“God gave me extra because I was suffering too much in the war”.

Source: Broward Holocaust Survivor Celebrates 100th Birthday | NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Centennial-Birthday-Celebration-for-Broward-Holocaust-Survivor–391798451.html#ixzz4Jfo7kqB1
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