Engel, Selma (Saartje)
Selma Engel (nee Wynberg), of Branford, died of natural causes on December 4 in an assisted living facility in East Haven. Born in Zwolle, the Netherlands, she was the widow of Chaim Engel, with whom she escaped from the Nazi's Sobibor extermination camp in Eastern Poland, and lived out the rest of the Holocaust hidden by Polish peasants in their barn. After Russia defeated the Nazis in Poland, the couple returned to Zwolle and then moved to Israel, before immigrating to the United States in 1957, and living in Westport, CT. They ultimately settled in Branford, CT. Selma and Chaim testified at the Nazi war crimes trials. They spoke at schools throughout Connecticut, to educate about the Holocaust and against prejudice. Selma continued speaking after Chaim's 2003 death, and in 2010 she was knighted by the Queen of Holland, in recognition of her Holocaust education efforts. Her survivors are daughter Alida Engel (Gene Burger) of New Haven, CT, son Fred Engel (Barbara) of Westerly, RI, granddaughters Tagan Engel (Enroue Halfkenny) of New Haven, and Kendra Rosenblatt of Northampton, MA, Emily Engel (Benjamin Riley) of Westport, CT, and Heidi Engel (Alex Kalejs), and eight great-grandchildren.
Services will be held on Friday, December 7, 10 a.m., at the Robert E. Shure Funeral Home, 543 George Street, New Haven, CT, followed by the burial at Beaver Brook Cemetery, Old Post Road, Clinton, CT (next to the Clinton Country Club, 128 Old Post Rd., Clinton, CT, 06413). Condolence visitors welcome through Friday afternoon at the home of Alida Engel, 374 Central Ave., New Haven.
Memorial donations can be made to the ACLU; or the "Zwolle Stumbling Stones Foundation," which places markers in front of the homes of Zwolle Jews who were taken to be murdered in the Holocaust. Checks can be made out to Zwolle Stumbling Stones Foundation, noting "In memory of Selma Wynberg Engel" on the memo line, and mailed c/o Alida Engel; 374 Central Ave.; New Haven, CT 06515.
Published in The New Haven Register from Dec. 6 to Dec. 7, 2018.