Holocaust survivor to sing National Anthem at Tigers game May 21

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An interesting bucket list wish for an 89-year-old Southfield woman who is Holocaust survivor. 

Born born in Košice, Czechoslovakia in 1927, Hermina Hirsch lost a lot at the Auschwitz concentration camp. “I lost my parents, my three brothers and aunts and uncles,” she said. Now, Hirsch lives in Southfield with her husband.  

Hermina’s bucket list wish is to sing the National Anthem at a Detroit Tigers game. “This is her life, she likes to sing,” said Hermina’s husband, Bernard Hirsch.

"I love the song itself," says Hermina.  The 89-year-old Holocaust survivor dreams of singing the National Anthem in front of the crowds at Comerica Park during a Tigers game.

“About 2 weeks ago at dinner, my family and I were discussing the Detroit Tigers baseball opening day. My grandmother blurted out that she would love to sing the National Anthem at one of the Tigers games,” said Andrea Hirsch, granddaughter. Andrea told FOX 5, “It completely shocked my entire family. She used to sing me and my cousins to sleep when we were younger, but we had no idea she wanted to turn her singing into so much more.”

“At my age, I figure that this would do it,” Hermina said. “I don’t want to die before I sing at a baseball game.” Hirsch said she has no fear about singing in front of thousands of fans at Comerica Park.

Andrea’s uncle went to Hermina’s home to record her singing the National Anthem.  Andrea’s uncle said to her, “See if you can make this happen!”  

“I shared my grandmother’s video on my Facebook wall and made it public. I asked people to share and like the post.” Andrea woke up the next morning to an overwhelming response.  Her Facebook post had received several thousands of likes and shares by morning. “I emailed the Detroit Tigers promotions department and shared with them what we wanted to do for my grandma.”  The organization reached back out wanting additional background information about Hermina.

“My grandpa loves baseball and he loves to go to the games. He has been a Tigers fan since they moved to Detroit in 1953. My grandmother doesn’t know much about the game, but loves to sing and thought it would be great to mix her talent and passion for singing with her husband’s love of the game.”

“We’ve received and continue to receive overwhelming support to make my grandmother’s dream come true,” said Andrea.

In 1944, at age 17, her family was sent to the ghetto and a brick factory. From there, she was shuffled between five different concentration camps including Auschwitz with her oldest sister, separated from her parents and other siblings. She was liberated from a concentration on Jan. 21, 1945. Hermina walked and hitched rides with strangers to get back to where she was born.

“If I lived through the concentration camp, it couldn’t be that bad,” Hermina said.

Hermina is a member of B'nai B'rith and has been singing the national anthem monthly for the organization-wide meetings, which consist of 200 people, for the past 40 years. She also used to sing the anthem each week during holocaust survivor meetings at The Jewish Center in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

FOX 5 learned on Thursday evening that Hermina will sing the National Anthem on Saturday, May 21 at 4:00 p,m.  The Detroit Tigers will in action against the Tampa Bay Rays.

A Facebook page that has been established to post updates on Hermina's journey:

Hermina Hirsch Singing National Anthem