Klara Ilona Swimmer, M.D., 88, died July 18, 2013.
Born in Hungary, Dr. Swimmer met her husband, George, as a teenager. They married in May 1944 on the steps of the then-locked synagogue. Soon after she was put on a train and taken to Auschwitz, along with her mother and her in-laws. She was sent to Kaunitz-Lippstat as a slave laborer. Surviving this experience and typhus, she returned to Hungary and found her husband, who had escaped forced labor. They attended medical school and in 1956, they left during the Hungarian Revolution. Along with their young son, they went to Israel for a number of years and then moved to New York. Dr. Swimmer repeated her medical training and became an internist, later focusing on geriatrics. In 1983, she relocated to Tucson and practiced medicine here. She spoke regularly at schools, military bases and other organizations about the Holocaust. Her last presentation was to the Maimonides Society and guests at University Medical Center in connection with the exhibit “Deadly Medicine,” organized by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She was a member of a number of medical, Jewish and community organizations.
Dr. Swimmer was preceded in death by her husband, George Swimmer, M.D. Survivors include her son, Gary (Karen) Swimmer of Tucson; and one grandson.
Graveside services were held in the Congregation Anshei Israel section of Evergreen Cemetery with Rabbi Robert Eisen officiating.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, Congregation Anshei Israel, American Cancer Society, Arthritis Foundation or the charity of your choice.