Anna Molnár Hegedűs
Born: August 02, 1897 Szatmár, Hungary
As the Lilacs Bloomed
Six months have passed since I arrived home. Six months full of hope, waiting, heart-gripping anxiety and dark despair.
Born: December 11, 1919 Chmielnik, Poland
The more we endured, the stronger our will to live became. This was our resistance against the degradation.
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: December 06, 1929 Prague, Czechoslovakia
My Heart Is At Ease
We played a game of nostalgia, recalling memories of the past to forget, for a while, the terrible present.... The siren at 5:00 a.m. woke us to the morning reality of roll call. We each wondered if we were going to be given another day of life.
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: February 20, 1927 Nádudvar, 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: 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: 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: 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: September 15, 1919 Wolbrom, Poland
The Shadows Behind Me
I was surprised that Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist, would talk to me not as a Jew but as a normal person…. I thought that I must be having a nice dream.
Zsuzsanna Fischer Spiro
Born: November 18, 1925 Tornyospálca, Hungary
In Fragile Moments
I am no longer who I used to be... All I have left is hope.
Born: May 30, 1927 Sieradz, Poland
Inside the Walls
Rumkowski still remains shrouded in mystery and much controversy, and though my own view may be biased, I am convinced that he cared deeply about the Jews in the ghetto.
Born: April 20, 1928 Lublin, Poland
Six Lost Years
I had watched my family being torn apart and degraded, and I had feared for my life. I was heartbroken, but I had been hardened, and I had learned not to cry.
Born: July 21, 1932 Lodz, Poland
Memories in Focus
I don’t know why I wasn’t afraid. I think my mind just went blank. I had no feelings at all. I had disengaged myself from what was happening around me. It was as if my eyes were cameras and my brain was the screen. I just recorded everything, without emotion or participation.
Born: May 25, 1920 Trstena Orava, Czechoslovakia
From Loss to Liberation
At first we weren’t sure what was happening, but by looking through a small ventilation pipe we soon found out. We saw the Germans, who had followed our footsteps in the snow. There was no way out.
Born: September 19, 1920 Mezőcsát, Hungary
What they told us was a lie. After several days of travelling under the most degrading conditions, broken in spirit, hungry and dying of thirst, stripped of our human dignity, we finally arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau, a place we had never heard of before.