Sonia Piekarska Brodeck


Sonia Piekarska Brodeck, of Rockville, died on Jan. 16. She was 92.

She was predeceased by her husband of 74 years, Bolek, who died last July. Sonia (also known as Zosia) was born into a loving Jewish family in Sosnowiec, Poland. She grew up singing and dancing and had a happy childhood until the German blitzkrieg smashed into Poland in September 1939, brutally taking her childhood away. Sonia had to endure years of cruelty and inhumanity after the Nazis murdered her family.

She was left alone as a child slave prisoner in Nazi concentration camps, forced to live in dangerous conditions and work with toxic chemicals making ammunition for the German war machine. Sonia met and married her beloved husband, Bolek, in the refugee camp for displaced Jewish Holocaust survivors in Landsberg, Germany. After their son, Joseph, was born in the refugee camp, Sonia and Bolek immigrated in 1949 to Richmond, where their daughters, Maria, Roma and Debbie were born.

Sonia and Bolek dedicated their lives to Holocaust remembrance, meeting with U.S. presidents, dignitaries and celebrities of all kinds, while educating thousands of students, teachers and anyone who cared to listen and learn about the horrors of the Holocaust. They helped establish the Virginia Holocaust Museum and were active participants with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, instilling the importance of Holocaust
remembrance to their children and grandchildren who carry on their important work today.
In addition to her children, Sonia is survived by three grandchildren, Talia, Ariella and Dylan; and two great-grandchildren, Eliana and Noa. Contributions can be made to the Virginia Holocaust Museum or the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
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