Born: October 21, 1928 Komarów, Poland
A Child’s Testimony
I wandered almost all night. I was afraid. Every movement in the forest scared me. I was not afraid of ghosts. I was afraid of people.
Born: June 16, 1930 Bardejov, Czechoslovakia
From Generation to Generation
The mountains were almost 3,000 metres high… We had to climb to the peaks, where it was frozen and slippery. One single misstep could mean certain death.
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: 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.
Born: April 28, 1937 Budapest, Hungary
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 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 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: December 05, 1931 Paris, France
Where Courage Lives
Everyone in Champlost had a hand in hiding us.
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
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: January 06, 1911 Stanislawów, Poland
Memories From the Abyss
...the tragic decade of our lives during the war and its aftermath came to a close. We entered a new era with great hopes.
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: October 27, 1930 Krakow, Poland
Buried Words: The Diary of Molly Applebaum
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?
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….
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: May 19, 1932 Budapest, Hungary
I want the next generations to know about these bright points that we can be proud of, and honour ourselves and our names. We need every point of light that we can find.
Born: June 01, 1930 Buczacz, Poland
Chaos to Canvas
The only sounds breaking the grim silence of the forest were the chirping of birds and occasionally the cry of an animal. It seemed that I was the only human being on earth. I became intensely aware of the world around me and would imagine shapes and dream of travelling through endless space. I created my own little world of safety.
Born: April 15, 1918 Dubno, Poland
A Part of Me
My young daughter and I were now totally alone, relying on my own strength and the caprice of fate. I ran out of the house with my beloved Lucy in my arms, this helpless little being who depended on me for solace, comfort and protection. I hoped that God would not desert us.
Born: June 17, 1926 Leipzig, Germany
The officer inspecting my papers addressed me in German and in response I convincingly faked my lack of understanding. I was relieved that I was able to calmly withstand my first test in the art of deception, as many more tests of my nerves were yet to follow.
Born: July 09, 1931 Gödöllő, Hungary
A Tapestry of Survival
There were many close calls, and I think it took quick thinking and miraculous escapes to survive those times, as well as a strong will to live.
Born: July 18, 1934 Lwów, Poland (now Ukraine)
Always Remember Who You Are
I had to assume a completely new identity and forget who I had been. And the family immediately began to teach me how to be a Catholic.