Eugene Kamer

[ Age 76] The owner of a playground equipment installation company was a survivor of Nazi concentration camps.

January 10, 2007|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,sun reporter

Eugene Kamer, retired owner of a playground equipment installation company and a survivor of German concentration camps, died Saturday of encephalopathy, a brain disease, at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. The former Reisterstown resident was 76.

Mr. Kamer was born in Krakow, Poland, and as an 11-year-old was imprisoned by the Nazis. He was liberated in 1945 from the Mauthausen concentration camp by troops of the Army's 11th Armored Division. "His mother disappeared and he never saw her again. His father, who was in a nearby camp, was later killed over a piece of bread," said son-in-law Benjamin Israel of Potomac.

"He was standing in line naked and waiting to be gassed when he learned that his father had been killed. After he was liberated, he was so grief-stricken that he couldn't eat. Many of the inmates who were given food died because they hadn't eaten in years. So his grief for his father may have spared his life," Mr. Israel said.

In 1999, Mr. Kamer was reunited with fellow camp survivors and Julius Abrams, the U.S. military police officer who had cared for them immediately after their liberation.

Mr. Kamer settled in Cuba in 1947 and married the former Silvia Zier there in 1958. They moved to Baltimore in 1961.

In 1972, Mr. Kamer established Action Playgrounds Inc. He operated the business in Reisterstown, and later Westminster, specializing in the installation of playground equipment at schools and parks until 1996, when he retired.

He was a member of the Liberty Jewish Center, Adat Chaim Congregation and Beth Israel Congregation.

Services were Sunday.

In addition to his wife of 48 years, he is survived by a son, David Kamer of Norfolk, Va.; two daughters, Laura Kamer-Israel of Potomac and Ana Jarquin of Los Angeles; and five grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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