Born: July 21, 1932 Rokitno, Poland
Under the Yellow & Red Stars
I feel my brother’s hand, trembling but strong, grab onto mine. I hear his words, urging me to run, take hold of my body and move my legs. We run, his hand holding mine …to me it feels like freedom.
Born: July 05, 1913 Brandýs nad Labem, Czechoslovakia
Knocking on Every Door
There was a feeling of imminent danger… we were all subject to the mad and ever-changing rules of Hitler’s Germany. We were desperate to find a safe haven.
Born: June 25, 1930 Warsaw, Poland
Two close calls in one day were enough for me. I realized that the uprising was not like the games I played with Józek before the war. This was a very real battle, in which people were being killed and wounded.
Born: June 10, 1923 Zduńska Wola, Poland
Little Girl Lost
The more we felt the Germans’ heavy boots in our lives, the more I knew that I had to leave… but I was scared. Where was I going to go? What would I live on?
Born: January 25, 1936 Rotterdam, Netherlands
The Hidden Package
When I opened the parcel, I was confronted with the past, memories long forgotten. The letters and drawings described happy as well as sad moments while Ollie and I were in hiding and separated from Mam and Pap.
Born: January 10, 1923 Pruszków, Poland
If Only It Were Fiction
Only a miracle could save me now. What God would accept my prayers? I was a fraud. I carried forged documents. I lied all the time. I wasn't who I said I was. But I wanted to live.
Eva Felsenburg Marx
Born: October 21, 1937 Brno, Czechoslovakia
Tenuous Threads/One of the Lucky Ones
My mother always credited my father for his keen instinct of self-preservation. “He saved our lives,” she said. “Without him we wouldn’t be here.”
Born: June 15, 1924 Lodz, Poland
Gatehouse to Hell
I was stubborn. I didn’t want to stay in Auschwitz. I didn’t want to go to the gas chambers.... I didn’t want to die there, and I kept pushing back.
Born: September 25, 1931 Vatra Dornei, Romania
Across the Rivers of Memory
I had the uncanny feeling that the writing of this book to bear witness and expose the horrors of Transnistria to the world at large was my life's meaning and the purpose of my survival.
Born: April 21, 1931 Újpest, Hungary
As soon as I heard the airplane engines I ran upstairs to watch the bombers approaching. It was dangerous, but I wasn’t scared. I prayed to God that those American planes would destroy the Nazis and the factories so we all could be free again.
Born: October 23, 1919 Mukačevo, Czechoslovakia
We Sang in Hushed Voices
In Auschwitz I was told that in two hours they could kill two thousand people…
Born: June 06, 1930 České Budějovice, Czechoslovakia
Into a new world I was brought by a dream
Never to see blood spilled again
But can I really throw away
The dreams that soiled my youth?
Born: April 28, 1937 Budapest, Hungary
Tenuous Threads / One of the Lucky Ones
I had always liked to play make-believe, but somehow they made me understand that this game was real. I never gave away my secret.
Born: February 20, 1927 Nàdudvar, Hungary
Suddenly the Shadow Fell
That night, a fierce air battle developed around and above our train. Guns were blazing, bombs were falling…. In the morning, instead of the enemy, US soldiers found us and heard our cries: “Oh God, we are free!”
Born: February 18, 1924 Ajak, Hungary
Alone in the Storm
Writing opened the lid of my box of buried memories. Looking back at my long life’s journey, I am dizzy contemplating the rough road and the distance I have travelled.
Born: November 12, 1921 Warsaw, Poland
If Home Is Not Here
I dove into the frigid river, the sudden shock leaving me gasping.... Somehow, I managed to reach the shore – the unoccupied zone of France and my entry into freedom.
Born: November 21, 1930 Nieśwież, Poland
If, By Miracle
I didn’t see anyone outside the pit, so I jumped out…. I had the feeling that my mother was running beside me and calling out to me, “Michael, run faster and don’t look back!"
Born: September 14, 1928 Beregszász, Czechoslovakia
A Name Unbroken
I felt reborn, until I looked in the mirror and could not recognize myself. I was skin and bones. The person who looked back at me in the mirror was a scared-looking, skinny little boy, not the person I thought I was.
Born: December 05, 1931 Paris, France
Where Courage Lives
Everyone in Champlost had a hand in hiding us.
Born: November 30, 1927 Chorzów, Poland
The Weight of Freedom
To avoid thinking I repeated the words “after the war.” The words stuck in my mind like a mantra. After the war. The words blended into the clang of the wheels. Will there ever be an end to the war? It did not seem possible. I could hardly remember when there was no war.
Born: October 23, 1929 Antwerp, Belgium
E/96: Fate Undecided
"Don’t move. Don’t open the door.” My knees had turned to jelly and I was trembling uncontrollably…. Sina grabbed her raincoat and declared, “I’m leaving. They’ll be back and I don’t want to end up in a camp.”
Born: April 24, 1935 Turka, Poland
The Violin / A Child’s Testimony
There was no room for standing or moving. When one person had to turn, all of us had to. The deeper we were inside the bunker, the less air we had.…We were not allowed to use our voices to speak. We could only communicate by moving our lips. Turn. Whisper. Turn.
Born: August 29, 1924 Humenné, Czechoslovakia
For the second time, I found myself about to be interrogated…. I wouldn’t confess to being Jewish this time, knowing it would mean certain death. How could I die now, after all we had managed to get through? I would not allow myself to die by their bloody hands. These thoughts pumped courage into my veins.
Marguerite Élias Quddus
Born: December 04, 1936 Paris, France
I’m ready, but I’m overcome with sadness. Mama hugs us and kisses us: “Goodbye, children! Go, and don’t look back….”
Born: March 25, 1934 Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
A Childhood Adrift
Holding me kicking and screaming, that brute ran toward the awaiting train, past Mama, whom I saw being dragged over the floor struggling and crying. The entire station was a scene of bedlam, with men, women and children being pulled, shoved and hurled into the train….