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Colorado AG Phil Weiser's family survived the Holocaust

It's a stunning story of survival and hope: Weiser's mother was born at the Buchenwald concentration camp just a day before it was liberated by the U.S. Army.

DENVER — The story of how Estare Weiser was born might be one of the most incredible stories of survival amidst the Holocaust's horrors.

Phil Weiser, Estare's son and Colorado attorney general, told 9NEWS the unbelievable story of how his mother was born at a Nazi concentration camp, hours before liberation.

Weiser's grandparents grew up in Poland, where they were shopkeepers before World War II. They ended up going to separate concentration camps, though they briefly met up in 1944. It was during that meeting that Estare was conceived, even though her mother didn't know that she was pregnant until she was about halfway through the pregnancy.

"It is a miracle," Phil Weiser said. "My grandmother thought she was not ovulating. She wasn't having a period. She thought she couldn't get pregnant.

"My grandfather and my grandmother managed to find some time to get together before my grandfather was shipped to a different concentration camp. I don't think it was remotely plausible to them that they could have conceived a child."

Weiser's grandmother snuck a coded note from Buchenwald to Weiser's grandfather, who was at the Theresienstadt concentration camp in German-occupied Czechoslovakia, telling him "You have what to live for." That was code for the fact that she was pregnant.

When the Allies closed in on modern-day Germany, the Nazis cleared out their concentration camps and forced their prisoners on so-called "death marches." But with Weiser's grandmother nine months pregnant, she was simply abandoned at the camp by the Nazis.

Alone at the camp, Weiser's grandmother cut her own umbilical cord with a knife and gave birth in one of the Nazis' most famous factories of death.

Estare Weiser, Phil's mother, was born at the Buchenwald concentration camp on April 13, 1945. The U.S. Army liberated the camp a day later, and Weiser and his mother were eventually cared for by the Swiss Red Cross.

Weiser's grandparents both survived the war. They met up later in Switzerland and eventually came to the United States with Estare in 1951. That said, Weiser's grandparents lost their son (who would've been Phil Weiser's uncle) to the Nazis before Weiser's mother was born.

"Trauma doesn't only stop in one generation," Weiser said. "But (my mom) also grew up with gratitude, as did I, about the United States of America (for) liberating her, welcoming us here (and) committing to freedom."

You can watch Weiser tell the incredible story of his grandparents' survival below.


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