Holocaust survivor to sing at Detroit Tigers game in May

DETROIT (AP) The Detroit Tigers are granting an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor's longtime wish to sing the national anthem at Comerica Park.

Hermina Hirsch of Southfield has been a Tigers fan since she moved to the Detroit area more than 60 years ago, WWJ-TV reported.

She spoke of her long-held dream to sing the national anthem at a Major League Baseball game a couple of weeks ago at a family dinner.

''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.''

Hirsch's family recorded a video of her singing her rendition and shared it on social media, WJBK-TV reported.

The Detroit Tigers promotions department saw the video and told Hirsch on Wednesday that her wish will come true on May 21.

''That's the beauty of baseball, isn't it? She has gotten a tremendous amount of support and it's just fantastic that she has wanted to do this and that she's a Tigers fan. Maybe it brings us a lot of luck for a magical 2016 season,'' vice president of communications Ron Colangelo said Friday morning on WWJ Newsradio.

Hirsch has been singing the national anthem for years during Holocaust survivor meetings at The Jewish Center in West Bloomfield.

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

Hirsch, a native of Czechoslovakia, was 17 years old when her family was split up and sent to concentration camps in 1944. She and her older sister were shuffled between five concentration camps, including Auschwitz, until she was liberated in January 1945, according to her granddaughter, Andrea Hirsch.

Hirsch said surviving the Holocaust gave her strength, so she's not nervous about singing in front of thousands of people.

''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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