DETROIT (WWJ/AP) — An 89-year-old Holocaust survivor has fulfilled her longtime wish to sing the U.S. national anthem at a Major League Baseball game.

Hermina Hirsch sang Saturday at Comerica Park in Detroit before the Detroit Tigers played Tampa Bay.

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“At my age, I figure that this would do it,” said Hirsch, who lives in Southfield with her husband. “I don’t want to die before I sing at a baseball game.”

Hirsch told WWJ’s Roberta Jasina in April that she has no reservations about singing in front of thousands of fans at Comerica Park.

“If I lived through the concentration camp, it couldn’t be that bad,” Hirsch said with a smile on her face.

In 1944, at age 17, her family was sent to live in the ghetto and a brick factory, according to her granddaughter. From there, she was shuffled between five different concentration camps including Auschwitz with her oldest sister. She was separated from her parents and other siblings.

But she survived.

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“She was liberated from a concentration camp (she doesn’t remember the name) in either Germany or Poland on Jan. 21, 1945,” Andrea Hirsch wrote in an email. “She walked and hitched rides with strangers to get back to where she was born.”

Hirsch ended up in a sanatorium for a year, regaining her health.

After that, her cousin set her up with a man named Bernard Hirsch. They got married in 1947 in Košice, and ended up in New York. Two of her siblings went to Detroit, so she and her husband moved there in 1953.

They immediately embraced the hometown baseball team, regularly attending games.

Hirsch has been singing the anthem for years during Holocaust survivor meetings in the Detroit area.

 

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