May 29, 2024
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Ambulance Dedicated In Memory of NJ Resident Ernest Haas

Haas family sponsors lifesaving vehicle for Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency health system.

(Courtesy of Magen David Adom) By every measure, Ernest Haas was a survivor, having endured enslavement in more than four Nazi concentration camps as a teenager. Now, nearly seven years after his death, it’s his legacy that will live on, as his family sponsored an ambulance in his memory for Magen David Adom, Israel’s national medical emergency system.

As someone who was singled out specifically for his ethnicity by the Nazi regime, the Life Support Ambulance dedicated in his memory will serve as a symbol of justice, his family says, saving lives in Israel, no matter what the ethnicity of the patient—Jew, Muslim, Christian, Druze, Samaritan, Baha’i, or other.

“Ernie always said that if there had been an Israel prior to World War II, there would not have been a Holocaust,” said his wife, Myrna. “As a result, I feel it’s imperative to support Israel. Toward that end, my family donated this ambulance to Magen David Adom.

“In addition, by putting an inscription on the ambulance detailing Ernie’s journey through the Holocaust, it will make people remember history,” she said.

Myrna Haas, wife of the late Ernest Haas, of blessed memory, and two of their sons, from left, Andrew and Michael, in Park Ridge, New Jersey, last week at the dedication ceremony for the Magen David Adom ambulance sponsored in memory of Ernie. (Credit: Jeff Karg)

Haas was a 16-year-old living with his family in Bavaria in 1941 when the Nazis rounded up the local Jewish population and shipped them off, initially to a holding camp in Nuremberg, and then eventually Jungfernhof, a concentration camp in Riga, Latvia.

After four years in several camps in which he was subjected to forced labor, Haas was liberated by advancing Soviet troops from the Stutthof concentration camp, near what’s now Gdańsk, Poland. He returned briefly to Germany after the war and in 1946 immigrated to the U.S., where he met his wife, Myrna.

They settled in New Jersey where they raised their three sons.

It wasn’t the first MDA ambulance dedicated to Haas. Shortly after hiss death in 2016, Donna Calcaterra, a board member of American Friends of Magen David Adom, sponsored an ambulance in his honor as well.

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