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: 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: February 28, 1926 Leipzig, Germany
A Drastic Turn of Destiny
In Germany I was “Jewboy”; in Brussels I was “boche”; in France I was “undesirable”; in Portugal I was a “refugee”; and in Jamaica I was simply a non-entity… I was a pariah in an exploding world.
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: June 20, 1928 Otwock, Poland
Fleeing from the Hunter
I asked myself, Am I a criminal doomed for execution? I was determined to run away… that thought never left my mind.
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: 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: November 10, 1933 Vilna, Lithuania
Traces of What Was
It was at the end of March 1944, on a cool, bright and sunny day, the beginning of spring, the time of renewal of life, that the SS came to take the children.
Born: April 17, 1925 Budapest, Hungary
Getting Out Alive
He pointed his gun and bayonet at me and ordered me to stop, my jaw was bleeding, hanging down. I could not speak and I was shivering.
Born: July 13, 1912 Dukla, Poland
The Vale of Tears
My tears, like the words of the prayer, fell like fresh dew: pure, delicate, unadulterated, honest words, and pure, delicate, unadulterated, honest tears.
Born: June 04, 1931 Smolensk, Russia
Behind the Red Curtain
As I looked at the postcard with a view of my native town, I recognized the exact place where I had been standing late at night, sixty years earlier, sobbing violently in fear and despair because I had nowhere to go.
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: October 27, 1930 Krakow, Poland
When I looked at the world with the eyes of a child it appeared so rose-coloured... and now? I am happy when I survive another day and I await the next in fear. When is it going to end? Are we even going to live until the end?