Governor Phil Murphy

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Statement by Governor Murphy on the Passing of Roman Kent


"Tammy and I are heartbroken to learn of the passing of our dear friend, Roman Kent.

“Roman survived the Lodz ghetto, he survived Auschwitz, he survived Mertzbachtal, and Dornau, and Flossenbürg. He was being marched to Dachau when he was liberated by American forces. No one could have blamed Roman if he had decided to fall silent following all he endured — if he just wanted to come to America, as he did in 1946, to wipe his life’s slate clean and begin anew. But he didn’t, and he spent his life ensuring that the world learned from its history, and his history.

“I came to know Roman when he was serving in an official capacity with the Claims Conference and I was serving as the United States Ambassador in Berlin. We struck a fast friendship that only grew closer over time, and which brought our families together, as well – in Berlin, our family hosted Roman’s granddaughter, at the time an Air Force cadet, when she was visiting the city.

“Roman dedicated his life to the pursuit of tolerance and understanding, the pursuit of justice, and to the true meaning of the words ‘never again.’ While he became a successful businessman, it is his philanthropic work to ensure that the Holocaust, and those who survived, would not forgotten that will stand has his legacy. And what a legacy that is.

“Roman’s wife, Hannah, of blessed memory, herself a survivor of three concentration camps, passed four years ago.

"His children, Jeffery and Susan, and their families, including his grandchildren and great-grandchild, in whom he took extraordinary pride, will be in our prayers tonight, which is also the Jewish Sabbath. May Roman’s memory be a blessing to all who knew him, and to the whole world.”