Religion News: Holocaust survivor spreads message of peace

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Religion News: Holocaust survivor spreads message of peace

Published Saturday, April 9, 2011   |  2856 Words  |  

Allen Kupfer survived cruel hate.

Today, the 87-year-old Sun City Hilton Head Island resident lectures about peace.

Kupfer, a Polish Holocaust survivor, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Temple Oseh Shalom's Holocaust Remembrance Service.

"I give young people the message to eliminate hate in their own life," said Kupfer, who often speaks at area schools. "Hate is the most viscous thing. Hate, even in families, is the most evil thing. It ruins your own life and the lives of others," he said, referring to recent mass shootings and reports of bullying.

Kupfer conveys a message of peace, just as the name of the synagogue means "Bring Us Peace."

"I do it for many reasons," Kupfer said. "These are things people should remember, the atrocities committed then, and committed every day."

When Germany invaded his native Poland in 1939, Kupfer was 15 years old.

Just one week later, the Kupfers' home was burned during the siege on Warsaw. The family hid in underground basements with extended family members until they were forced to move to a second floor tenement.

By December 1940, Kupfer escaped to the nearby town of Nowy Korczyn with the help of his cousin, who had a team of horses and a wagon as well as a permit to pick up supplies for a German outpost. "I was fearful and terribly cold," Kupfer said of the weeklong trip that required them to sleep in barns and at truck stops.

While Kupfer was working in the fields, his family joined him in Nowy Korczyn, but within two years the Germans started moving the Jews out of the town via cattle car to the Treblinka extermination camp. "My parents told my sister to jump off along the way so that she could escape," Kupfer said. "She walked day and night and hid in barns and fields."

Meanwhile, Kupfer was forced to become part of a work force liquidating the belongings of the homes of Jews who had been killed. He was sent to a labor camp at Kielce where he brought in supplies for an ammunition factory. With the Russian Army advancing, Kupfer knew the liquidation of the factory meant his death was near. He escaped to a nearby forest.

Kupfer found work at the farm of Jozef and Stefania Macugowski in Poland, but after harvest time he was no longer needed. Kupfer asked the family for shelter and he moved into their hiding place in 1944. The farming family secretly hid Kupfer and eight other Jews in a 6-by-8-foot basement.

With the Russian occupation of Nowy Korczyn, Kupfer was free to leave hiding. "I got out Jan. 13, 1945 -- that's when the war was over for me," Kupfer said.

Kupfer returned to his hometown of Warsaw where he and his sister were reunited. His parents, and many of his other family members, died in a concentration camp.

Kupfer credits hope for his survival. "When I thought I had lost my sister it was tragic," Kupfer said. "I had to commit suicide or live with it. You live with it and you never forget. We don't want to forget this tragedy."


Church of the Palms United Methodist will hold a "Bridges to Healing" seminar from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. April 16 at the church on S.C. 170 in Okatie. The program is a training and resource opportunity that offers spiritual solutions for the struggles associated with combat trauma and post traumatic stress disorder. Cost is $35 for training and resource materials. Registration and light refreshments will be held at 8:30 a.m. Reservations are required by today.

Details: Pam Rentz, 843-522-3425


Scottsville Baptist Church will hold its "One Body, One Church, One Family and One Faith Program" at 7 p.m. today. The church is at 110 Olde Church Road, St. Helena Island.

Details: 843-838-1260


The Adam Street Baptist Church family will honor Pastor Willie Wilson for 25 years of service with a banquet at 6 p.m. April 30 at Quality Inn and Suites in Beaufort. Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children ages 4-12. The deadline to reserve banquet tickets is today.

Details: Pearlie Chaplin, 843-838-2817


A sale of gently used clothing for all family members is from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. today at Carteret United Methodist Church in Beaufort. The Carteret Closet Sale is sponsored by the United Methodist Women's unit. Money raised will go toward mission projects. The church is at 408 Carteret St., Beaufort.

Details: 843-812-3311, 843-524-6119


St. John's Lutheran Church inaugural Community Chili Cookoff to benefit Habitat for Humanity is from 5-7 p.m. today at St. John's Lutheran Church, 157 Lady's Island Drive, Beaufort. To make reservations or to enter a recipe, call 843-524-3461. Admission is a minimum donation of $5 a person or $20 a family.


The Hilton Head High School Touring Choir, under the direction of Larry Mercer, will present special music at the 9 and 11 a.m. services Sunday at Providence Presbyterian Church, Hilton Head Island. This appearance will be in advance of the group's upcoming performance at Carnegie Hall. The church is at 171 Cordillo Parkway, Hilton Head.

Details: 843-842-5673


The Rev. Nan White will discuss "We Are All One," addressing the moral and religious relationship with immigrants, at 10 a.m. Sunday at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Beaufort. The fellowship meets at 178 Sams Point Road, Lady's Island.

Details: 843-838-1399


First Presbyterian Church on Hilton Head Island is holding a Lenten worship service of prayer and healing at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, preceded by a fellowship dinner at 5:15 p.m.; reservations for dinner are required.

The annual free Easter egg hunt begins at 10:30 a.m. April 16.

Three services are planned on Palm Sunday, April 17. Traditional services will be at 8:30 and 11 a.m. with the Sanctuary Choir presenting the cantata, "Christus," by Mendelssohn. CrossRoads informal worship begins at 9:45 a.m. in Fellowship Hall with music by Lavon Stevens and the CrossRoads Band. The church is at 540 William Hilton Parkway, between mile markers 5 and 6.

Details: 843-681-3696,,


Servants of God International Outreach Tabernacle concludes the celebration of its fourth church anniversary at 4 p.m. Sunday. Pastor Susanna Johnson of Canaan Missionary Baptist Church in Sheldon will speak. The church is at 2754 Trask Parkway, U.S. 21, Grays Hill

Details: 843-846-6017


St. Paul Baptist Church concludes the celebration of its 126th church anniversary and the sixth anniversary of its pastor, the Rev. Donald Goodwine Sr., at 11 a.m. Sunday. The Rev. Anthony Jones will speak. The church is at 22 St. Paul Church Road, Burton.

Details: 843-525-0525, 843-846-2970


The Sea Island Chamber Singers will present "Requiem" by John Rutter at 7 p.m. Sunday at Sea Island Presbyterian Church. An orchestra will accompany the group. Soprano soloist Laura Floyd will be featured. Charles Frost, minister of music at the church, will be the conductor. An offering will be accepted. The church is at 81 Lady's Island Drive, Beaufort.

Details: 843-525-0696,


The Anglican Church of the Redeemer of Hilton Head Island will hold Passion Sunday service at 10 a.m. Sunday. Palm Sunday service with Blessing and Distribution of the Palms is at 10 a.m. April 17. Maundy Thursday service with Altar of Repose and Stripping of the Altar is at 6:30 p.m. April 21. Good Friday service is at noon April 22 with Meditations of the Cross from 1-3 p.m. April 22. Easter Sunday service is at 10 a.m. April 24. The church is at 1 Mathews Drive, Suite 101, Hilton Head. Those who would like to have a service in the Bluffton area are asked to contact Father Chris Gardner at 843-815-5820 or


Faith Memorial Baptist Church will conclude the celebration of its 56th church anniversary and Pastor Dr. Horace Williams Jr.'s 27th anniversary at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Pastor Sam Spain of Lady's Island Baptist Church will speak at 12:30 p.m. and the Rev. Dr. Abraham Murray of Brick Baptist Church will speak at 2:30 p.m.

Details: 843-838-2362,


The Rev. Dr. Nannette Pierson will discuss "Why Do We Come to Church?" at 10 a.m. Sunday at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Lowcountry. Pierson is the founder and director of the Sandalwood Community Food Bank. Children's religious education is provided during the service. The church is at 110 Malphrus Road, Bluffton.

Details: 843-837-3330


The Old Fort Baptist Church Family will honor its pastor and first lady with an appreciation celebration revival at 7:30 p.m. Monday. Speakers and guest churches are: Monday, Pastor Randy Roberts and Love House Ministries; Tuesday, Pastor Joe Jordan of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Ridgeland; Wednesday, Pastor Albert Chatman, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Port Royal; Thursday, Elder Raymond Hamilton, Gillison Branch Baptist Church; Friday, Pastor Eric Mason, Jesus First Ministries. The celebration will conclude at 4 p.m. April 17 with a service by Pastor John Porter and Huspah Missionary Baptist Church. The church is at 1554 Ribaut Road, Port Royal.

Details: 843-524-4037


Friendship Baptist Church Missionary Ministry will celebrate its 28th anniversary at 3 p.m. Sunday. Evangelist Pearlie Smalls, president of the Old Ashley Missionary Auxiliary, Johns Island, will speak. The church is at 36 Friendship Lane, Coosaw Island.

Details: 843-521-4419


Grace Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church will celebrate its 142nd anniversary at 7 p.m. Wednesday-April 17. Speakers are: Wednesday, the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Doe and Bethesda Christian Fellowship; Thursday, the Rev. Reginald Jacobs and Campbell Chapel AME Church; and Friday, the Rev. Dr. Horace Williams and Faith Memorial Baptist Church. The celebration continues at 5 p.m. April 17 with an anniversary message from the Rev. Donald Goodwine of St. Paul Baptist Church. The church is at 502 Charles St., Beaufort.

Details: 843-524-6091


"The Journey of the Jews: A Cultural Study" continues from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday at Congregation Beth Yam. Rabbi Brad Bloom leads the discussion series that continues through May. This week's topic is "The Jews of Spain." The synagogue is at 4501 Meeting St., Hilton Head Island.

Details: 843-689-2178


Island Lutheran Church will host "A Walk Across Ancient Jerusalem" at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Pastor Larry Eckart will lead the presentation based on his recent trip to Israel. Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, the trial and the crucifixion of Jesus will come alive as history and archaeology are combined with the modern setting. Child care will be provided. The church is at 4400 Main St., at Wilborn Road, Hilton Head Island.

Details: 843-689-5200


Central Oak Grove Baptist Church will host two fundraisers April 16. A yard sale will be from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Dinners, to include barbecue ribs, fried chicken and fish, are $10. For delivery, call 843-681-5784. Call to reserve table space ($20 a table). Proceeds from meals and table spaces will benefit the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. The church is at 161 Mathews Drive, Hilton Head Island.


District Three of the Old Ashley Baptist Association will meet at 9 a.m. April 16 at Orange Grove Baptist Church. The guest speaker will be Dr. J. Otis Williams, a chiropractic physician, certified functional medicine practitioner and addictionologist. The church is at 189 Orange Grove Road, St. Helena Island.

Details: the Rev. Joseph McKnight, 843-252-7855; the Rev. Joe Simmons, 843-812-6927


Holy Week and Easter Sunday Mass events at St. Francis By the Sea Catholic Church of Hilton Head Island begin at 5:30 p.m. April 16 with Palm Sunday Vigil Mass in the family center with the Blessing of Palms. Holy Thursday, April 21, the Mass of the Lord's Supper will be celebrated at 6 p.m. in English and 7:30 p.m. in Spanish. The adoration of the Blessed Sacrament continues until 10 p.m. in the family center. Good Friday's veneration of the cross and communion service begins at 3 p.m. in English and 6 p.m. in Spanish. Easter Vigil, April 23, begins at 8:15 p.m. Easter Sunday Masses will be celebrated at 6:30 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and noon in the church and at 9 and 11 a.m. in the multipurpose building. The church is at 45 Beach City Road, Hilton Head.

Details: 843-681-6350


Carteret Street United Methodist Church Traditional Palm Sunday Worship and Procession of the Palms are at 9 and 11 a.m. April 17. Easter Cantata, "The Living Last Words" by Ruth Elaine Schram, will be presented by the Chancel Choir at 6 p.m. April 17, followed by a reception. Lenten Worship Services are at noon April 18-20, to be followed by lunch. Maundy Thursday, Service of Tenebrae with Stripping of the Altar, is at 6 p.m. April 21. A Reenactment of Journey to Golgatha with Youth to Carry Cross begins at 11:30 a.m. April 22. Good Friday Communion is from noon-3 p.m. April 22. The movie, "Jesus of Nazareth," will be aired at 3:15 p.m. April 22 in the multipurpose room of the Wesley Building. The traditional Easter Sunday Worship with Adorning of the Altar is at 9 and 11 a.m. April 24. Parishioners are asked to bring flowers to place upon the Living Cross in front of the church. An Easter breakfast will be served in the Fellowship Hall at 10 a.m. There will be no Sunday School. The church is at 408 Carteret St., Beaufort.

Details: 843-524-3841


First African Baptist Church of Hilton Head Island is sponsoring a "Dining Out For Cancer Event" to benefit the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life beginning at 12:30 p.m. April 17 in the church fellowship hall. Donations of $10 or more will receive luminaries. Telephone orders will be accepted at 843-681-6427. The church is at 70 Beach City Road, Hilton Head.

Details: Ida Campbell, 843-681-8163; Geneva Christopher, 843-785-4787


St. Andrew By-The-Sea United Methodist Church will offer Palm/Passion services at 9 and 11:15 a.m. April 17 followed by an Easter egg hunt at 12:30 p.m. for children (fifth-grade and younger). Children are encouraged to be part of the Procession of the Palms at the beginning of either worship service. There will be a special Good Friday service at 7:30 p.m. April 22. The service features 70 singers performing music from the African American and European traditions. The church is at 20 Pope Ave., Hilton Head Island.

Details: 843-785-4711


Pastor Jack Ladson, pastor of Scottsville Baptist Church, will speak from noon-12:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Lunch Hour of Power in Helen Galloway's Memorial Chapel of Chisholm Galloway Home for Funerals, 808 Bladen St., Beaufort.

Details: 843-524-6634


Catching a Vision, a prayer workshop by Katie Williams, is from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays through May 31 at Community Bible Church, 638 Parris Island Gateway, Beaufort. The nine-week discipleship course in prayer is led by Elsie Stevens and Janie Johnson.

Details: 843-524-2738, 843-987-0033


The 15th annual Christian Heritage Breakfast, to benefit the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, will be at 7 a.m. April 20 at The Crowne Plaza Resort, Shipyard Plantation, Hilton Head Island. Tom Lehman will be the keynote speaker. Tickets must be reserved by Friday. The breakfast is presented by the FCA and the Men of the Church. The breakfast requires advance reservations. Table sponsors are needed. Tickets are available by mail at $25 each or a table of 10 for $199. Make checks payable to "Christian Heritage Breakfast," P.O. Box 5192, Hilton Head Island, SC 29938.

Details: 843-271-6710