March 13, 2020

Rep. Mike Levin Honors Holocaust Survivor as Constituent of the Month

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Esther Sterling is Rep. Levin's Constituent of the Month for March

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) announced that Esther Sterling, a Holocaust survivor living in Reata Glen Rancho Mission Viejo, is his Constituent of the Month in celebration of Women’s History Month. Originally from Poland, Esther spent her childhood hiding from Nazis in the Sambor Ghetto of Ukraine. Esther is a member of the International Hidden Children Organization and shares her story throughout the region.

See below for Rep. Levin’s statement recognizing Esther Sterling in the Congressional Record:

“Madam Speaker, in celebration of Women’s History Month, it is my honor to recognize Esther Sterling as my March Constituent of the Month. Ms. Sterling, a Holocaust survivor from my district, spent her childhood hiding from Nazis in Ukraine. Forged from her experience during this dark time in history, Ms. Sterling shares her story across my district with schools and community groups to help ensure that history will never repeat itself.

“Esther’s story is one of courage, fortitude, and determination. After World War II broke out, Esther, her mother, father, and sister were sent to the Ghetto of Sambor. When the Ghetto was terminated and residents were sent to an extermination camp, Esther’s family managed to escape with the help of their devoted nanny. Just outside their nanny’s apartment, Esther’s father dug a hole beneath a coal and wood shack. Most of the time they hid within shack, but if there were passersby, the family crouched within the hole, breathing from air provided by a tube.

“As the war progressed, the German gestapo began to round people up for executions. Searching for a new place to hide his family, Esther’s father was shot. Her mother was stricken with grief after her father’s death, and as an eight-year-old child, Esther took on the responsibility of convincing her mother and younger sister to keep fighting for survival.

“I launched a Constituent of the Month program to recognize individuals who have gone above and beyond to make our region and our country a stronger place for everyone to live and thrive. Ms. Sterling’s perseverance and triumph during a time of great danger and divide is not only inspiring, but encouraging. I am honored to recognize her as my Constituent of the Month and I thank her for everything she’s done to make our community a better place.”

Representative Levin’s Constituent of the Month program recognizes outstanding North County San Diego and South Orange County Residents who have gone above and beyond to help their neighbors, give back to their community, and make the country stronger. Levin’s Constituent of the Month for February was local veteran Robert “Bob” Moore, one of the nation's first African American men to serve in the Marine Corps and last surviving Montford Point Marine. His Constituent of the Month for January was Aiden Cohen, a 17-year old North County resident who heroically rushed to the aide of his next door neighbor, pulling him from his fire engulfed home. 

To nominate a resident of the 49th District to be the Constituent of the Month, fill out this nomination form.