Holocaust survivor activist arrested in Ferguson protest

A 90-year-old Jewish Holocaust survivor was arrested in St. Louis during a protest over the shooting death by police of Michael Brown in suburban Ferguson, Mo.

Hedy Epstein of St. Louis was one of nine protesters arrested Aug. 18 for blocking the entrance to the downtown state office building that houses Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s office, the Nation reported.

“I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90,” Epstein told the Nation, as two officers walked her to a police van. “We need to stand up today so that people won’t have to do this when they’re 90.”

Epstein escaped Nazi Germany for England in 1939 on the Kindertransport. Her parents and other family members died in Auschwitz, according to her personal website.

Epstein has been active in civil rights and social justice causes, including fair housing, abortion rights and anti-war activities. She also has been active in pro-Palestinian causes, demonstrating against Israel’s security fence, Israeli settlements and the demolition of Palestinian homes.

She is a member of the speakers bureau of the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center.

Brown, an 18-year-old black male, was unarmed when he was shot and killed by police in Ferguson on Aug. 9. — jta