Holocaust survivor chosen to sing national anthem at Tigers game

- An 89-year-old Southfield woman has a wish to sing the national anthem at Comerica Park and, after what she's been through, singing in front of thousands of people doesn't scare her.

That's because Hermina Hirsch is a Holocaust survivor.

She always dreamed of singing the national anthem at a Detroit Tigers game -- and Wednesday she learned her wish will come true. The date and time for the game still has to be determined, but she is ready and very excited.

"I love that song," Hermina said. "I've been singing it for 40 years."

She's been singing the national anthem at Holocaust survivor meetings for years. 

"Somehow I just wanted to do something extra," she said. "I said I have nothing to lose, I'm an old woman."

It all started at a family dinner a couple of weeks ago. The 89-year-old began talking about baseball and her dream of singing the national anthem.

"I said, I don't want to die before I'm going to sing at the baseball game, the national anthem - and that was it," Hermina said. "I never thought that it would get such a big response. I just figured I would sing it."

The family captured Hermina's rendition and her granddaughter shared the video of her song on Facebook. It didn't take long for Hermina's bucket list wish to go viral.

The Detroit Tigers promotions department saw the social media post, and Wednesday the family learned Hermina's dream will soon become a reality.

"I just try to take everything in stride," Hermina said. "And that's it."

It takes a lot to rattle this 89-year-old great grandmother. She was born in Czechoslovakia and when she was 17, her 11 family members were split up and shuffled to different concentration camps. Only a few survived the unthinkable.

"That gives me the strength because I'm a Holocaust survivor," she said.

A year after she was liberated, she met her husband, Bernard, who she has been married to for 69 years.

He loves baseball. They raised their three boys going to Tigers games, and now Hermina will get her chance to hit it out of the park.

"I said to the kids, a star was born overnight," said Bernard Hirsch.

Is Hermina nervous? She says no. At 89, she's ready for anything.

"Maybe because I was in the concentration camp and such horrible things happened," she said. "It doesn't matter, things just don't matter or they matter more."
 

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