Congregation Shaareth Israel

Lubbock, Texas

Tuesday, May 21, 2002 - The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Shiver, Holocaust survivor and storyteller, dies Monday at 73

Helene Levi Shiver, a Holocaust survivor who had told her story to Lubbock audiences for the past 10 years, died Monday morning at University Medical Center. She was 73. Shiver, who was held at the Dachau Nazi concentration camp in Bavaria between 1943 and 1945, spoke two to three times a month to school, church and civic groups in the area after she and her husband moved to Lubbock 11 years ago.
"It was impressed on her very much before her parents died in the camp that if she survived she would go out and tell what happened at Dachau," her husband, Iverson "Jack" Shiver, said. "Helene was more or less dedicated to impress the message on young people."
Shiver, who was imprisoned between the ages of 13 and 16, was the only survivor of more than 100 family members who were taken from their home in Bulgaria and transported to concentration camps. During that time, Shiver carried wallet-size pictures of family members in her boots, which she never removed during her time in the camp. Anne Epstein, president of the Congregation Shaareth Israel, said Shiver was important to Lubbock's Jewish community and the community as a whole by sharing her "knowledge, wisdom and experience" about the Holocaust. Shiver made a special attempt to educate Lubbock and South Plains school children about the horrors inflicted on European Jews by the Nazis.
"She's such a tremendous teacher. She has brought her message not just about peace and cooperation and understanding, but also about the importance of personal integrity in your life," Epstein said. "She always cherished her thank you letters from the students, and she was a tremendous influence on them."
Shiver was chairwoman of the temple's Sisterhood Kitchen Committee, which served food for the Oneg Shabbat, or "Joy of the Sabbath" reception every Friday night following services, Epstein said. "It's hard to imagine life at the temple without Helene there," Epstein said.
Shiver's granddaughter, Dawn Craddock of Lewisville, Kan., said Shiver had a million times more friends than family, since her family died in the Holocaust.
"She was just a very dear, loving person," Craddock said.
Shiver and her husband, who was an American soldier, met at a displaced persons camp. They married on Sept. 25, 1947, and lived in Salzberg, Austria, after the war. The couple had a daughter in 1950, and the family moved to Birmingham in 1957. Services for Shiver will be at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Temple Shaareth Israel with Rabbi Sherman Stein officiating. Burial will be in City of Lubbock Cemetery under the direction of Rix Funeral Directors of Lubbock. Survivors include her husband; a daughter, Maneulla Richardson of St. Petersburg, Fla.; and two grandchildren.
The family suggests memorials to the National Holocaust Museum, Washington, D.C., and may be sent through Temple Shaareth Israel, P.O. Box 93594, Lubbock, TX 79493.