Born in Poland, the 93-year-old great grandmother Tova Ringer won the annual Israeli beauty pageant for women who survived the Nazi genocide during Hitler era and she was crowned as the “Miss Holocaust Survivor” on Sunday.

The Miss Holocaust Survivor beauty pageant is held in Israel each year to cheer the women who survived one of the most brutal genocides on Jews by Hitler-led German army. This year, the pageant was held in the city of Haifa and a dozen women showed up, dressed in sassy attires, coiffed hair and makeup – cautiously performing the catwalk at the city hall. The stage was surrounded by several generations of relatives and friends who cheered the years old ladies who has survived through the worst of all times and are happy, confident and live.

Among the contestants was Polish-born 93-year old Tova Ringer – a former jeweller who had lost her parents, four sisters and a grandmother in Auschwitz death camp during the Jews genocide. At the end of the pageant, the oldest among all – Tova was crowned as the “Miss Holocaust Survivor” for 2018. Aligning her tiara perching into her silver hair, Tova said, “”I’m very happy. It’s something special. I wouldn’t believe that at my age I would be a beauty. I don’t have words for the people working here. They gave so much … heart for us.”

Other contestant at the pageant were a retired gynaecologist and gas technician, both 81 years old, and two authors of Holocaust memoirs. And the youngest contestant was 74, still working as a teacher despite complications of pneumonia she suffered as a baby in Romania. The idea of the event is to bring smiles and honour the decreasing number of people who lost their youth in wartimes and survived through the most adverse conditions – only to grow up bold and beautiful with a million stories to tell.

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