Holocaust Survivors Take the Runway

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HAIFA, Israel — Estee Lieber was in a bit of a tizzy as she emerged from under the blow-dryer for the final walk-through on Thursday evening. “I don’t like it straight,” she complained, wearing a triple strand of pearls and her sash, while waiting to put on her velvety black dress slit up the side. “I’m not modern. In my eyes it’s not beautiful.”

This was the first beauty pageant for Ms. Lieber, 74, who was born in Poland in 1937, was 5 when her father was killed by the Nazis in Germany, and 6 when her mother faced the same fate. It was the first time down the runway for all 14 finalists, in what was billed as the first-ever pageant of Holocaust survivors.

They wore sensible shoes, and no swimsuits. Personal stories counted as much as poise....

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