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Tag: Survivor

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  • Survivor: Henry Oster

    By Jane Ulman

    2 weeks ago

    Achtung,” a German officer shouted. “Attention.” Fifteen-year-old Henry Oster, then called Heinz, lined up with his mother in a Lodz ghetto courtyard on a mid-August day in 1944. He and the others gathered there had been instructed to report for special permits to help harvest the...

  • Survivor: Joseph Alexander

    By Jane Ulman

    December 3, 2014 | 11:02 am

    Half the people in the cattle car were already dead when the train pulled in after midnight to the station in the Polish city of Oswiecim (Auschwitz). It was February or March of 1943, and 20-year-old Joseph Alexander — known then as Idel Aleksander — stepped over the bodies as...

  • Survivor: Eva Perlman

    By Jane Ulman

    November 19, 2014 | 12:24 pm

    The alert came at dusk. Eva Perlman (then called Eva Hanna Gutmann), just 12 years old, looked out the window of the apartment her family was renting in Autrans, France, on the second story of what they called “the yellow house.” Not far away, she could make out the silhouettes of...

  • Survivor: Mike Popik

    By Jane Ulman

    October 23, 2014 | 10:34 am

    The SS entered Mauthausen’s overcrowded barracks 30 one night in February 1944 to punish the 120 boys, including 14-year-old Mike (Miki) Popik, who were engaged in a shoving match to avoid sleeping next to the cold, damp wall. Among the guards was one everyone called Sturmführer...

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  • A Survivor’s Last Wish

    September 24, 2014 | 8:48 pm

    Sylvia Badner turned 80 years old in 2007, and her son Victor threw a small party in his home, inviting a few friends, cousins and neighbors to mark the milestone.

    Everyone showed up except Sylvia, who adamantly refused to attend.

    The Queens, N.Y. housewife had been lying about...

  • Survivor: Stella Esformes

    By Jane Ulman

    September 23, 2014 | 9:49 am

    It was 1944, and Stella Esformes — then Sterina Haleoua — was looking forward to watching the national Independence Day parade in Larissa, Greece. She had even purchased a new pair of beige and brown shoes for the occasion. But the day before the event, in the early morning of...

  • Survivor: Barry Weintraub

    By Jane Ulman

    September 10, 2014 | 11:55 am

    "Get out of the house. Go.” 

    Just 19, Barry Weintraub — then Ben Zion or Benchi — didn’t understand why his parents were sending him away. The family had been living and working in a forest in northwest Russia, having escaped from Poland in 1940. “Don’t ask any questions. Just...

  • Survivor: Miriam Bell

    By Jane Ulman

    August 27, 2014 | 11:00 am

    As the candles glowed, Miriam Bell (née Galperin), her parents and six siblings were singing and welcoming the Sabbath into their comfortable home in Kovno (Kaunas), Lithuania. Then gunshots were fired, and screaming erupted. The family ran outside to see Nazi soldiers, who had...

  • Memories of Ravensbrück

    By Tom Tugend

    August 14, 2014 | 2:12 pm

    By the time she turned 8 and arrived in a cattle car at the Ravensbrück concentration camp for women and children, Eva Katz had survived forced labor in a brick factory and heard the rifle shots that killed her mother.

    At the camp, Eva, along with several other women, was put in...

  • Survivor: Frida Berger

    By Jane Ulman

    June 4, 2014 | 11:32 am

    “You have to go to the synagogue,” the mailman announced, banging a drum as he stood outside the house Frida Berger (née Isac) shared with two sisters and two brothers in Comlausa, Romania. It was 7 a.m. on the day after Passover in 1944. Two Hungarian soldiers accompanying the...

  • Survivor: William Harvey

    By Jane Ulman

    May 21, 2014 | 10:48 am

    “You have to leave your home. We’re taking you to work.” Rifle-carrying soldiers banged on William Harvey’s (then Wilheim Herskovits) door, giving the family five minutes to pack. William grabbed his best coat, which his mother had fashioned from a mohair blanket he had received...

  • Survivor: Curt Lowens

    By Jane Ulman

    May 7, 2014 | 10:12 am

    "We are surrounded by Hitler Youth throwing stones. Get home as fast as you can.” Dr. Leonore Goldschmidt, director of the Goldschmidt Schule (School) in Berlin, told the students as she rushed into one of Curt Lowens’ (then Loewenstein’s) morning classes. Amid the chaos, Curt...

  • Germany: I Remember

    April 27, 2014 | 7:49 pm

    800px-White_Tower_Bad_Homburg_GermanyThis article was first published on We Said Go Travel for our Inspiration Writing Contest. I wanted to share it on the Jewish Journal for Holocaust Remembrance Day. Lisa

    "Al! You're up early. And where's your 'shtick'?" I asked, using the word he substituted in place of 'cane'....

  • Frank Schiller

    By Jane Ulman

    April 23, 2014 | 1:25 pm

    In October 1941, Frank Schiller, his parents, brother and grandmother were ordered to report to Prague’s Exhibition Hall. There, Frank’s parents spent their days filling out documents while Frank and his brother wandered around. At night, they slept on straw mattresses. To Frank,...

  • Boris Abel

    By Jane Ulman

    April 9, 2014 | 12:14 pm

    As Boris Abel — then Berelis Abelski — was being herded from the cattle car that had transported him to Auschwitz, he saw what was happening ahead and quickly tossed the small bag of gold and diamonds he was carrying into a nearby sewer. He and the other newly arrived prisoners...

  • A survivor’s Passover tale

    April 9, 2014 | 12:06 pm

    I learned about Passover from my parents, from my teachers, but most of all from my uncle, Henry Kolber. The Nazis took Uncle Henry from his village in Poland at the very beginning of the war. For more than five years, he survived Nazi captivity. He was young. He was strong. He was...

  • Idele Stapholtz

    By Jane Ulman

    March 26, 2014 | 1:21 pm

    The dining room of the Jewish orphanage in Dinslaken, Germany, suddenly went dark. Idele Stapholtz — then Ida Steuer — heard shouting and breaking glass as strange men began hurling tables and chairs through the windows lining the back wall. She and her friend Katie Kohn, both 12...

  • Helen Freeman

    By Jane Ulman

    March 12, 2014 | 1:12 pm

    “Yes, Mother, I will not go too far,” Helen Freeman — then Chaja Borenkraut — promised her mother as she left their ghetto apartment in Radom, Poland, on a Thursday afternoon in July 1942. But, suddenly, only a short distance from the apartment, a truck stopped and two SS officers...

  • Emil Jacoby

    By Jane Ulman

    February 12, 2014 | 4:00 pm

    On Saturday evening, March 18, 1944, Emil Jacoby’s father walked him to the train station in Cop, Czechoslovakia. Emil, just 20, had spent an emotional weekend with his family — their last weekend together, though they didn’t know it at the time — and was returning to Budapest....

  • Betty Cohen

    By Jane Ulman

    January 29, 2014 | 10:58 am

    During her first night in Birkenau, on May 22, 1944, Betty Cohen — née Beppe (Rebecca) Corper — slid out of her lower bunk and stepped outside to use the toilet. Just 23, she had arrived that morning with her parents, aunt and grandmother, as well as her fiance and his family, from...

  • Survivors gather for ‘Survivor’ exhibition

    January 27, 2014 | 1:30 pm

    On Sunday, Jan. 26,Samara Hutman, standing in a gallery at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, pointed to the walls displaying David Miller's large photographs of Holocaust survivors and said, “These are our neighbors.”

    She was speaking literally—the portraits that line the...

  • Sarah Leisner

    By Jane Ulman

    January 16, 2014 | 2:48 pm

    Sarah Leisner — née Kanzer — was digging foxholes in a frozen field in northern Poland on the bitter cold and dark afternoon of Dec. 31, 1944, when she spied several small houses nearby, with smoke rising from the chimneys. “Let’s break in and steal a needle and thread,” Sarah, 19,...

  • Karl Wozniak

    By Jane Ulman

    January 3, 2014 | 10:47 pm

    One dark November evening in 1938, as 14-year-old Karl Wozniak and his younger brother, Max, left their Cologne apartment for a walk, they saw a fire burning in nearby Horst Wessel Park. They headed toward the flames and spied a group of Nazis standing around the fire. They stayed...

  • Engelina Billauer

    By Jane Ulman

    December 13, 2013 | 10:55 am

    On Oct. 1, 1942, the passenger train carrying 1,000 Jews from Berlin and 250 young Jewish women from Frankfurt-am-Main halted next to a large empty field in Estonia. “Raus, raus” (“Out, out”), SS yelled as they herded the Jews into one line. But they held back 15-year-old Engelina...

  • Doli Sadger Redner

    By Jane Ulman

    November 14, 2013 | 4:07 pm

    Doli Offner (now Doli Redner) and her older sister, Lea, stood single file along with a group of young women at Auschwitz as Dr. Josef Mengele walked past, dispatching each with a flick of his thumb to one side or another. Lea was sent to the labor camp line and Doli to the gas...

  • Sophie Zeidman Hamburger, survivor, 94

    October 25, 2013 | 9:10 am

    Sophie Zeidman Hamburger, 94, of Los Angeles passed away at home Oct. 10th with her family by her side. A Holocaust survivor, Sophie inspired many people with both her courage and her warmth.

    Sophie was born in Bedzin, Poland, in 1919 and was trained as a tailor before World War...

  • Joseph Aleksander

    By Jane Ulman

    October 16, 2013 | 1:05 pm

    The railroad car doors slammed open. “Heraus, heraus,” the German guards screamed. “Get out, get out.” Joseph Aleksander woke abruptly. He had been hallucinating that he was relaxing on green grass next to a bubbling stream. In reality, he lay on the floor of a cattle car crammed...

  • Hadasa Cytrynowicz

    By Jane Ulman

    October 3, 2013 | 10:04 am

    “Don’t speak, don’t cry. The Germans will hear us, and they will kill us.” Four-year-old Hadasa Cytrynowicz — then Dasha Eisenberg — silently clung to her mother, wrapped in the goose down comforter they had brought with them from Konskie, Poland, to a hut near the Bug River,...

  • Survivor, storyteller, celebrity, sage: Elie Wiesel at 85

    By Jonah Lowenfeld

    September 24, 2013 | 2:36 pm

    When talking about Elie Wiesel, who turns 85 on Sept. 30, it is far too easy to fall into a list of superlatives. 

    As a child who survived Auschwitz and other concentration camps, Wiesel witnessed more death and more horrors than most human beings ever will. A onetime journalist...

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