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.
Born: March 08, 1928 Kovno (Kaunas), Lithuania
Flights of Spirit
I had a lot of time to think and I had many questions: How does it feel to die? Does the brain go on working for a time after the heart stops? My mother was a strong woman and I trusted her, but would she have the strength to give me, her only child, the first injection?
Born: October 22, 1927 Chorzów, Poland
Carry the Torch
Being only a teenager, I was not as intuitive as my mother. I didn’t want to be separated from her, and I was confused by her actions and what I saw as the needless pain they caused me. But I would come to realize that her selflessness and sacrifice saved my life.
Born: January 20, 1926 Krakow, Poland
A Lasting Legacy
Commandant Göth singled out a man from the line and shot him for no apparent reason at all. Göth then turned to the next person and asked, “Why are you staring at me so stupidly?” And he shot him as well.