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Sol Rosenberg (February 2, 1926–January 30, 2009) was a Jewish survivor of the German Nazi death camps and concentration camps who became an industrialist and philanthropist in Monroemarker in northeastern Louisianamarker.

After the German invasion of Poland of 1939 Rosenberg lived in the Warsaw Ghetto set up by the German occupiers of Poland. The German Nazi regime sent his parents and two sisters to their deaths in 1942, but Rosenberg was one of the very few to escape from the death camp at Treblinkamarker; he returned to Warsaw, where he participated in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Rosenberg was then sent to the Dachau concentration campmarker, where he was liberated by the Allied Powers after the final overthrow of the Nazi regime.

In Poland, Rosenberg met his wife, the former Tola Baron (June 22, 1924-January 12, 2006). The couple came to Louisiana in 1949 and thereafter settled in Monroe to start the steel company from scratch.

Rosenberg was involved in community affairs and charitable works, being a charter founder of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museummarker in Washington, D.C.marker, and the Holocaust Museum Houstonmarker. He was a member of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and supported the Booster Club at the University of Louisiana at Monroemarker. In 2006, he was awarded the Kitty DeGree Lifetime Business Achievement Award. He played golf at the Bayou Desiard Country Club in Monroe, where he made a hole in one at the age of eighty-one.

Rosenberg contributed to youth athletics and the reconstruction of the Jewish Cemetery in Monroe. His friend Jay Marx, a Jewish member of the Monroe City Council, characterized Rosenberg's life as "the American dream. He found his way in a new country and reaped the benefits of this country... He didn't take for granted anything, and he shared plenty. I think all of us will certainly regret his loss but will admire his life.”

"My father was kind of like a Will Rogers in reverse; he never met a man who didn't like him,” said his son, Jackie Rosenberg in an interview with the Monroe News Star. The senior Rosenberg remained active in the family's business, Sol's Pipe and Steel Co., an international company, until cancer struck.

Rosenberg died at his Monroe residence. In addition to his son Jackie and his wife, Diane, Rosenberg was survived by four other children, Joe Rosenberg and wife, Pam; Herman Rosenberg, Jeannie Wermuth and her husband, Gary, and Terri Rosenberg, and twelve grandchildren. Services were held on February 1, 2009 – one day before what would have been Rosenberg's 83rd birthday – at the Reform Judaism synagogue, Temple B'nai Israel, in Monroe. Interment was at the Jewish Cemetery.

Sol’s Story: A Triumph of the Human Spirit by Richard B. Chardkoff, a ULM historian, tells the story of Rosenberg’s trials and triumphs. His obituary quotes him, accordingly: "I love the United States. I’m a citizen. I’m proud to be an American, and I’m a good American. Nowhere in the whole world did I find happiness. I find happiness in America."

References

  1. "Monroe businessman Sol Rosenberg dies", Monroe News Star, January 30, 2009



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