Kalter was born in Leipzig Germany and was deported along with his family to Tarnow Poland in 1938. The Tarnow Ghetto was soon created and he lived there until he was deported with his father to the Auschwitz concentration camp, along with 4000 other people. Of these deportees, only 900 were left alive and were given numbers, including Kalter whose number was 161306 and Kalter’s father whose number was 161311. From Auschwitz he was sent to Birkenau, where his father was murdered and to a work camp named Buna. Kalter’s journey continued though various other camps, included his reuniting with his brother Achi and ended with his eventual liberation and arrival in the United States.
The event was structured as an interview discussion led by Miriam Leichtling, Director of MJE West Side. The evening also included special prayers for Yom Hashoa led by Rabbi Mark Wildes, Founder and Director of the MJE network.
Kalter, who unlike many survivors, was very well spoken, quite straightforward and told the story with much accuracy. He exhibited a profound sense of gratitude to G-d for sparing him and his brother and giving him the opportunity to create a Jewish Torah inspired life for himself and his extended family in the United States.
Kalter, accompanied by his wife, children and grandchildren stated that life has its valleys and peaks and one must rise to the difficult times and be thankful for all the gifts that G-d has bestowed.
Kalter’s grandson Rabbi David Eckstein, is Director of Community Engagement for MJE.