Hedy Epstein Arrested: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Hedy Epstein, a prominent 90-year-old Holocaust survivor, has been taken into custody by police in St. Louis over her protesting of the Michael Brown shooting, reports KMOV’s Chris Stanford.

Here’s what we know so far:

1. She’s Accused of Blocking a Building

Epstein was arrested for blocking an entrance to the Nixon building in St. Louis. The St. Louis Business Journal reports that nine protesters were arrested at the building at 4:40 p.m. Eastern time. The group were chanting slogans such as “Face one, face all!” and “Who do you serve? Who do you protect?”

She was released a few hours later and will have to face court on October 21 for a charge of failing to disperse. In an interview after her arrest she said that the “Ferguson police are deliberately inciting violence.”

2. Epstein Is One of the Most Famous Pro-Palestinian Activists in the World

Hedy Epstein Gaza


Epstein is a world-famous pro-Palestinian activist. Since 2003, Epstein has made five trips to the Gaza Strip. Epstein doesn’t believe peace is in Israel’s immediate future:

I’m an inveterate optimist, so someday there will be peace, but a lot of things have to change before that happens. If the occupation were to stop overnight, it would make all the difference in the world. Israel is the fourth-largest military entity in the world. They have the newest equipment, and it’s used on the Palestinians. Also, if the U.S. stopped funding Israel, that would be another way of bringing about peace. We have humongous problems in this country, people are unemployed, losing their homes, we could use that money instead of overseas in a destructive way. Let’s use it constructively. I think we should let the people decide what they want instead of telling them what they should do.

3. Most of Her Family Perished in Concentration Camps During WWII

Hedy Epstein Palestine


Epstein lost all but two of her family members at Auschwitz. According to her Twitter page, Epstein was born in Germany in 1924. Her only remaining family members were were an uncle and aunt who moved to the U.S. in 1938. You can watch a short documentary about her incredible journey here:

4. Epstein Helped in the Nuremberg Trials

Hedy Epstein Self Hating Jew


According to her official website, after World War II, Hedy went back to Germany (she had lived in England in the immediate aftermath of the war). While in Germany, she was employed by American prosecutors during the trials of doctors accused of performing unnecessary medical treatments on concentration camp inmates.

5. She’s a Local in the St. Louis Area

Epstein has lived in St. Louis for many years, moving there after emigrating to the U.S. in 1948. In 2001, she founded the St. Louis chapter of the Women in Black, an anti-war movement.

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