Born 1916, in Lodz, Poland
Fanny Aizenberg was born into an Orthodox family in Lodz, Poland. Fanny and her family moved to Brussels, Belgium when she was a young child. One of three daughters, Fanny’s family was very active within their community.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Survivor Volunteers at Volunteer Appreciation Night 2011. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
At the Museum we have more than 90 Holocaust survivors who serve as volunteers who greet the public, act as tour guides and tell their personal histories. In addition to their outreach work, survivor volunteers spend time in the Museum’s library and archives where they help other survivors and their families locate information about themselves and their loved ones. Their presence is an invaluable asset, and their contributions are vital to the mission of the institution.
For Questions or more information on how to become a volunteer, please visit the Volunteer Opportunities page.
Born 1916, in Lodz, Poland
Fanny Aizenberg was born into an Orthodox family in Lodz, Poland. Fanny and her family moved to Brussels, Belgium when she was a young child. One of three daughters, Fanny’s family was very active within their community.
Born September 27, 1922, in Kozienice, Poland
David Bayer was born September 27, 1922 to Manes and Sarah Bayer in Kozienice, Poland. Manes owned a shoe factory which supplied stores throughout Poland, and Sarah managed the household and helped in the factory. The second of four children in an observant Jewish family, David spent his days going to school, playing sports and working in his father’s factory.
Born March 1, 1922, in Berlin, Germany
Bob lived in Berlin, Germany, with his parents until they divorced. He then lived solely with his mother. Bob attended a boarding school in Germany until 1935 when the Nazis forced the school’s closure.
Born June 22, 1926, in Roznava, Slovakia
Died September 5, 2008
Susan was born an only child to a conservative Jewish family in Roznava, Slovakia. Her mother and father owned a dry-goods store. Susan was thirteen years old when the war began. News of the evils of the concentration camps reached Roznava and Susan’s father decided to take his family out of Slovakia as fast as possible. Her father had a brother in the United States that would assist her family in receiving Visas. They sailed into New York City on the S.S. Washington on August 3, 1939.
Born 1936, in Chelm, Poland
Died October 6, 2007
Sheila was the only child born to Bela and Isaac Peretz in Chelm, Poland. Chelm was a vibrant Jewish community. Before the war, her family owned a large building on Lubelska Street, and Sheila’s father managed a Singer Sewing Machine business. Sheila’s parents both had large, close-knit families, and her childhood was filled with love and joy.
Born April 23, 1935, in Paris, France
Jacqueline and her sister attended the local public school. Their lives were quite normal until Germany invaded Poland and the war broke out.
Born April 26, 1930, in Mukachevo, Czechoslovakia
Ruth Cohen was born on April 26, 1930 to Herman and Bertha Friedman in Mukachevo, Czechoslovakia. Herman and his brother were wholesale wine and beer manufacturers. Ruth, her older sister, Teresa, and younger brother, Aharon, often helped to fill bottles on Friday evenings before the Sabbath. The Friedmans were Orthodox Jews as well as Zionists and Ruth and her siblings were sent to the Hebrew Gymnasium, a school where the curriculum was taught entirely in Hebrew.
Born 1929, in Split, Yugoslavia
Isak was born in Split, a small town on the Adriatic coast of Yugoslavia with a prewar population of about 50,000 and a rather active Jewish life. Isak’s father owned a small dry goods store, and Isak helped run the family business along with his mother and three sisters.
Born November 11, 1919, in Stryj, Poland
Isaac was raised by his widowed mother who received support from a nearby uncle and an aunt in New York.
Born March 15, 1928, in Pabianice, Poland
Died October 6, 2011
Yona was the eldest of four children in a working-class Jewish family. Yona’s father sold merchandise to Polish stores. It was a difficult life in Pabianice, but Yona’s family was very close, and many relatives lived nearby.
Born May 1, 1934, in Drohobycz, Poland
Marcel Drimer was born in Drohobycz, Poland a small town now part of Ukraine. His father Jacob worked as an accountant in a lumber factory while his mother Laura raised Marcel and his younger sister Irena.
Born June 12, 1928, in Znojmo, Czechoslovakia
Erika was born in Znojmo, a town in the Czech region of Moravia with a Jewish community dating back to the 13th century. Her father was a respected attorney and an ardent Zionist who hoped to immigrate with his family to Palestine.
Born February 19, 1931, in Berlin, Germany
Died August 27, 2006
Frank’s father was an inventor, holding several patents in the radio field until the crash of 1929. Frank’s mother worked as a secretary for a Berlin business firm. In February 1939, soon after Kristallnacht, the family emigrated to the Philippines.
Born October, 1938, in Paris, France
Jacques Fein was born in Paris, France in October, 1938. His parents, Rojza and Szmul Karpik, were Polish Jews who had immigrated to Paris in the 1930s. Jacques’ younger sister Annette was born in August, 1940. The Karpiks were a fairly typical Jewish Parisian family; Szmul supported his wife and children with a modest income from his work as a tailor, while Rojza cared for the home and children. After the German invasion and surrender of France in 1940, the Karpiks’ lives changed drastically.
Born September 30, 1937, in Zvolen, Slovakia
Gideon Frieder was born on September 30, 1937, in Zvolen, Slovakia. His family moved to the town of Nove Mesto in Slovakia at the beginning of the war after his father, a rabbi, was offered a position there. Slovak authorities deported Gideon’s grandparents in 1942; they died, most likely at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Born December 30, 1925, in Chmielnik, Poland
Manya was born in Chmielnik, a small town in central Poland with a Jewish community that dated to the 16th century. Her father owned a furniture shop and her mother took care of the home. Manya had two younger brothers, David and Mordechai, and was surrounded by many close relatives.
Born June 24, 1938, in Paris, France
Albert Garih and his twin brother were born June 24, 1938, in Paris, France, to Benjamin and Claire (née Alfandari) Garih. Albert’s twin died in infancy. Natives of Constantinople (now Istanbul), Turkey, Benjamin and Claire had each moved to Paris in 1923, where they met and married in 1928. Benjamin worked in a garment factory and the family lived in the janitor’s house at the factory, where Claire stayed home taking care of Albert and his two sisters, Jacqueline, born in 1930, and Gilberte, born in 1933.
Born November 17, 1933, in Lachowicze, Poland
Goldie was born to an Orthodox Jewish family in Lachowicze, Poland. Her family ran a successful two-room shoe factory from the home. In September 1937, she and her family sailed to Cuba, where they remained safe during the war.
Born June 2, 1930, in Budapest, Hungary
When Germany occupied Hungary on March 19, 1944, Agi, her younger sister, Zsuzsanna, and her parents, Rozsa and Zoltan Laszlo, were living in Miskolc, Hungary.
Born January 24, 1927, in Berlin, Germany
Fritz’s father, a conservative Jewish judge in Berlin, was extremely patriotic and a decorated veteran of World War I. He lost his job when Hitler came to power in 1933. Fritz’s mother was not Jewish and Fritz was considered a “Geltungsjude,” a counted Jew.
Born March 28, 1928, in Siauliai, Lithuania
Nesse Galperin was born on March 28, 1928, into an observant Jewish family in Siauliai, Lithuania. Her mother, Sara, owned a dairy store and her father, Pinchas, worked at a shoe factory. They spoke often to Nesse and her brothers, Jecheskel and Menashe, about the importance of community and caring for others. Siauliai was home to a Jewish community of more than 10,000 members, who supported cultural and social organizations and over a dozen synagogues.
Born July 9, 1928, in Volosyanka, Czechoslovakia
Helen was one of seven children born to an observant Jewish family in Volosyanka, a small town with a bustling Jewish community, nestled in the Carpathian Mountains. She grew up with many relatives, including her grandparents, nearby.
Born April 1, 1928, in Starachowice, Poland
Before 1939, Henry enjoyed a typical childhood, attending public and religious school and playing soccer with the other children.
Born May 30, 1922, in Geilenkirchen, Germany
Died February 23, 2013, in Rockville, Maryland
Ruth was born into an orthodox Jewish family in Geilenkirchen, a rural German town near the Dutch border. Her father, Isidor, was a respected cattle dealer in the area and her mother, Sophia, took care of the home.
Born August 8, 1921, in Stuttgart, Germany
William was born to a large liberal Jewish family in Stuttgart, Germany. His father, a World War I veteran, worked as a textile wholesale businessman and owned his own small store where he sold cotton and linen goods. Stuttgart was a seemingly safe city and became the home for many Jews.
Born August 25, 1937, in Paris, France
Marcel Hodak was born August 25, 1937, in Paris, France. His father, Jules, and mother, Feiga, were Romanian Jews who had emigrated to Constantinople and later to Paris to escape pogroms in their native country. In Paris, they had three sons, of whom Marcel was the youngest, and one daughter. Jules worked as a presser in the women’s garment industry and Feiga was a seamstress.
Born July 6, 1922, in Jaslo, Poland
Adam was born to a liberal Jewish family. In Jaslo Adam attended school and spent much time outdoors skiing, playing tennis, and kayaking with his cousin, Reggie.
Born March 27, 1929, in Cologne, Germany
Inge Berg was born on March 27, 1929 in Cologne, Germany to Klara and Josef Berg. The Bergs, a close-knit observant Jewish family, lived with Josef’s parents, and their family was active in the local Jewish community; Inge’s paternal grandfather was president of the local synagogue association, and her father’s brother, George, was the synagogue’s cantor. Josef was a cattle dealer and Klara managed the household and raised her daughters Inge and Gisella (Jill), born in 1933.
Born April 29, 1922, in Wallensen, Germany
Werner was raised in the rural German town of Herleshausen, where his family owned a farming supply business. His father sold seeds to local farmers and purchased their grain, while his mother ran the office. The Katzensteins were one of about two dozen Jewish families living in the area.
Born January 31, 1938, in Zagreb, Yugoslavia
Yugoslav-born Teodora Basch and her younger brother were hidden by their aunt and her non-Jewish husband, with the help of neighbors, for almost four years.
Born July 9, 1929, in Warsaw, Poland
Estelle’s father helped to organize the Warsaw ghetto uprising. During the uprising, Estelle and her family hid in a bunker.
Born November 30, 1925, in Berlin, Germany
Gerald was born to a Jewish family in Berlin, Germany. His father worked in the textile business. Gerald was the eldest of two children; he had a younger sister. He attended public school until 1936, when he and other Jewish children were forced to leave public schools.
Born January 19, 1929, in Gleiwitz, Germany (now Poland)
Frank was the only child of Hans and Lotte Liebermann. The family lived a comfortable middle class existence. Both of Frank’s parent’s families had lived in the area for several generations.
Born March 3, 1925, in Smolnik, Czechoslovakia
While still a child, Catherine moved with her parents and brother to Sighet, Romania. In 1944, Catherine’s father was arrested and taken to a concentration camp.
Born April 4, 1926, in Sosnowiec, Poland
Helen was the eldest of three children in a comfortable middle class Jewish family. Her father owned a textile business in Sosnowiec and her mother attended to the home.
Born February 1, 1923, in Dabrowa Gornicza, Poland
Welek grew up in Dabrowa Gornicza, an industrial town in western Poland. His father, Simcha, was a wholesale meat merchant and his mother, Rozalia, served as president of the local chapter of the Women’s International Zionist Organization. The Luksenburgs were among the several thousand Jews who lived in Dabrowa Gornicza.
Born May 8, 1936, in Riga, Latvia
After the war, Manny went to Switzerland with his mother for several months, before emigrating to Palestine in 1945. He moved to the United States in 1949.
Born August 9, 1937, in Berlin, Germany
Harry Markowicz was born on August 9, 1937 in Berlin, Germany to Max and Marja Markowicz. His parents had emigrated from Poland shortly after World War I. Max owned a fur business, and Marja managed their Jewish household while raising Harry and his older siblings, Rosa and Manfred.
Born February 26, 1922, in Innsbruck, Austria
When Margit was a baby, her family moved from Austria to Prague, Czechoslovakia. Her father was a banker from a religious Jewish family in Bohemia and her mother came from a Viennese family of Jewish origin.
Born January 8, 1926, in Zgierz, Poland
Leon was the oldest of two boys born to a Jewish family in Zgierz, Poland. In 1939, after Germany invaded Poland, Leon’s family left Zgierz for Lodz. They were forced into the Lodz ghetto in 1940.
Born May 18, 1929, in Rokiteno, Poland
Nina was born to a Jewish family in the Polish town of Rokiteno. She was the youngest of three siblings. Her father was a builder, and Nina attended the Beth Sefer Tarbut.
Born September 9, 1922, in Lodz, Poland
Bella was born in Lodz, Poland. At the age of sixteen, she was separated from her family and ended up in the Oszmiany ghetto, from which she later escaped. Bella made her way to the ghetto in Vilna and eventually was interned in the Kaiserwald concentration camp, where she met and married her husband. She was liberated in April 1945, after surviving a number of other concentration and slave labor camps. In 1946, Bella immigrated to the United States.
Born April 29, 1927, in Athens, Greece
Isaac and his two younger brothers were born and raised in Athens, Greece. The Nehamas were traditional, Sephardic Jews who observed all Jewish holidays. Isaac’s father was an accountant at a Jewish-owned textile firm. Both of Isaac’s parents belong to local Jewish organizations.
Born 1930, in Hamburg, Germany
Johanna was born into a family of merchants in Hamburg, Germany. Her family tried to get visas to enter the United States, but because Johanna’s father was, officially, a Polish citizen, he was given a higher quota number than his wife and child. Therefore, they decided to stay in Germany as a family. In 1939, they escaped to Albania along with a few other Jewish-German families. They remained in Albania, fleeing from one town to another throughout the war until they were freed by the Allies in 1945.
Born May 1, 1933, in Cologne, Germany
Gisella lived with her parents, grandparents, uncle, and older sister, Inge, in Lechenich, a small village outside Cologne. The Bergs were an observant Jewish family. Gisella’s grandfather was the president of the local synagogue association and her uncle was the cantor.
Born March 26, 1930, in Aachen, Germany
Kurt was born to Jewish parents in the city of Aachen, where his mother’s family had resided since the 18th century. His father, though trained as a chef, worked as a butcher and also managed several stores for his father-in-law. Kurt enjoyed large family gatherings, where he would play with his cousins, Anne and Margot Frank.
Born December 5, 1931, in Essen, Germany
Pete grew up in Essen, a major industrial city on Germany’s Ruhr River. His father worked as a cattle hide dealer for an international trading company in nearby Mühlheim. His mother was a designer for a fashionable women’s dress shop.
Born March 28, 1934, in Budapest, Hungary
György was the only child of middle class Jewish parents living in the Hungarian capital of Budapest. His father, Istvan, was an engineer responsible for producing hydraulic grape presses for wineries. His mother, Margit, worked as a legal secretary.
Born December 14, 1937, in Warsaw, Poland
Sam Ponczak was born on December 14, 1937, in Warsaw, Poland. His father, Jacob, worked as a tailor and his mother, Sara, was a seamstress. After Nazi Germany defeated Poland, starting World War II, and partitioned the country with the Soviet Union in 1939, Jacob wanted his family to go to Soviet-occupied Poland. Sara, not wanting to leave her parents and brothers, stayed with Sam in German-occupied Warsaw while Jacob left to find a safer place for them to live.
Tania grew up in Smorgonie, a Polish town where Jews constituted more than half of the population. Her father was a successful businessman. Her grandfather, an affluent merchant, traveled frequently and brought the first truck to Smorgonie.
Born December 12, 1936, in Văscăuti, Romania
Rita Rubinstein was raised in a loving home, which her family shared with an aunt and uncle and their two children, as well as with her paternal grandmother and her aunt’s mother-in-law. After Nazi Germany and its Axis partners, including Romania, invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, Romanian soldiers entered the Lifschitzes' village and ordered all Jews to leave.
Born May 8, 1920, in Decin, Czechoslovakia
Hans was born to a Jewish family in the Sudetenland, a region of Czechoslovakia that had a large German population. In 1922 the Sachs family moved to Vienna, Austria, where they purchased a dry goods store. Hans attended public school and had many non-Jewish friends.
Born May 23, 1925, in Kovno, Lithuania
Sam Schalkowsky is the son of Yitzhak and Chaya Kupershmidt Shalkovsky. He was born on May 23, 1925 in Kovno (Kaunas) Lithuania where his parents owned a shoe store. Shmuel was the youngest of six siblings, two of whom died at a young age. Three of his older siblings moved to Palestine in the early 1930’s.
Born December 16, 1929, in Horochow, Poland
Died January 19, 2013, in Alexandria, Virginia
Shulamit, known as Musia, was the youngest of two daughters born to a Jewish family in the town of Horochow, 50 miles northeast of Lvov. Her father was a philosophy professor who taught at the university in Lvov, and both of her parents were civic leaders in Horochow.
Born October 10, 1924, in Bochum, Germany
After Lore’s father was fired, disbarred and beaten in an alleyway for being Jewish, he decided that it was time for the family to leave Germany before conditions became worse.
Born February 19, 1925, in Freiburg, Germany
Gerald was born to a conservative Jewish family in Freiburg, Germany. His father was a businessman. His company was based in Germany and the warehouse was located in Switzerland. His mother helped his father with the business.
Born April 2, 1917, in Tacovo, Czechoslovakia
In August of 1944, Livia and her family were taken to Auschwitz. After four months in Auschwitz, she was deported and forced into slave labor at Fallersleben. In April of 1945, Livia was liberated and eventually came to the United States in 1947.
Born December 26, 1936, in Iasi, Romania
Nathan Spitzer (now Nat Shaffir) was born on December 26, 1936, in Iasi, Romania, to Anton and Fany Spitzer. In 1931, Anton and his new bride had moved from Transylvania to Bucium, a village near Iasi, along with Anton’s two brothers. The family owned a large dairy farm that supplied dairy products to the Romanian army. The Spitzers’ farm prospered, with many head of cattle. Fany managed the household and raised Nat and his two sisters, Sara and Lili.
Born December 15, 1933, in Strasbourg, France
Alex Shilo was born in Strasbourg, France, to a Jewish family who had emigrated from Galicia, Poland. His father, Feibisch, was a traveling salesman who sold leather goods, and his mother, Henia Tauba, was a certified Hebrew teacher who worked as a seamstress for Feibisch’s business. She also took care of Alex and his older sister, Madeleine. For work purposes, Alex’s father moved the family to Paris in 1938.
Born August 16, 1930, in Berchem, Belgium
Died February 25, 2009
Flora’s Romanian-born parents immigrated to Antwerp, Belgium, in the late 1920s to escape antisemitism. Flora’s father owned a furniture workshop. Antwerp had an active Jewish community. Flora was the oldest of three girls, and the family spoke Yiddish at home.
Born November 5, 1924, in Bivolari, Romania
Haim was the youngest of 5 children. His family lived in a small Jewish community in the village of Bivolari, where there were about 200 Jewish families. Germany and the Soviet Union signed a nonaggression pact in 1939; the Soviets ordered Haim and his family to leave Bivolari. They moved to the town of Iasi, some 50 km southwest of Bivolari.
Born May 12, 1926, in Radom, Poland
Regina was born in Radom, a city with 120,000 inhabitants. Her father worked as a leather cutter for a large shoe manufacturer and her mother took care of their six children. The Gutmans were very religious and Regina attended Hebrew school in the afternoons.
Born August 23, 1922, in Kozienice, Poland
Sam was the eldest of five children born to Jewish parents in Kozienice, a town in east central Poland. His father owned a shoe factory and his mother cared for the children and the home. Kozienice had a thriving Jewish community that made up about half of the town’s population.
Born April 3, 1937, in Adelsheim, Germany
Esther’s father sold feed and other products for cattle, and occasionally arranged for the sale of cattle in the area. Her mother often helped him. Esther was sent to England on a Kindertransport in June 1939. In Thorpe, England, Esther lived with Dorothy and Harry Harrison and their son Alan from 1939 until November 1947.
Born November 28, 1919, in Vienna, Austria
Charles was born to a Jewish family in Vienna, Austria. His father was a printer. When the Germans marched onto Austria and arrived in Vienna on March 13, 1938, Charles fled to Luxembourg. Soon he received the required Affidavit of Support which he immediately presented to the nearest American Consulate in Antwerp, Belgium. Charles got his visa on October 7, 1939 and arrived in New York on December 18, 1939.
Elzbieta grew up in Iwonicz, a resort town in southwestern Poland noted for its mineral water. Her father, Edmund, was a respected physician and Helena, her mother, had studied pharmacology. At home, they spoke Polish and were among the few Jewish families who lived in Iwonicz.
Born February 2, 1918, in Lodz, Poland
Herman Taube was born to Jewish parents in Lodz, Poland in 1918. Orphaned at an early age, he was brought up by his religious grandfather. In prewar Lodz, Herman became a yeshiva student. During the war, Herman lived as an exile in Uzbekestan. He also served as a medic in the Second Polish Army and was stationed with them in Majdanek.
Born January 9, 1926, in Vacha, Germany
Susan grew up in Vacha, a small Thuringian town where her family had lived for more than 400 years. Her father, Herman, owned a general store and her mother, Bertha, took care of the home and children. The Strausses were one of about 25–30 Jewish families living in Vacha.
Born March 22, 1929, in Vienna, Austria
Freddie and his father spent many afternoons together where Freddie learned from his positive outlook on life and determination to overcome life’s hardships.
Born March 21, 1939, in Brussels, Belgium
Josy’s father left for England with his brother after the German invasion of Belgium in May 1940. Josy’s mother took part in the Belgian Resistance movement by hiding refugees in her attic.
Born May 27, 1929, in Bad Kreuznach, Germany
The Hilsenraths lived in Bad Kreuznach, a city in western Germany with a Jewish community that dated back to the 13th century. Susan was the eldest of three children. Her father owned a thriving linen store, and her mother took care of Susan and her two brothers.
Born January 28, 1929, in Polana, Czechoslovakia
Martin (Marty) Weiss was born on January 28, 1929 in Polana, Czechoslovakia to Jacob and Golda Weiss. Jacob was a subsistence farmer and a meat distributor, and Golda managed their orthodox Jewish household and raised their nine children. Czechoslovakia had become an independent democracy after World War I, and the Weiss family were proud citizens of the newly-formed nation.
Born November 21, 1930, in Bótrágy, Czechoslovakia
Irene Weiss was born Iren Fogel on November 21, 1930, in Bótrágy, Czechoslovakia (now Batrad’, Ukraine) to Meyer and Leah Fogel. Meyer owned a lumber yard, and Leah managed their home and cared for Irene and her five siblings—Moshe, Edit, Reuven, Gershon, and Serena.
Born March 25, 1917, in Bremen, Germany
Died February 15, 2011, in New York, NY
Rabbi Wiener was the eldest of four children. His father, Josef, had left Ukraine in 1913 and opened a bicycle sales and repair shop in Bremen. His mother, Selma, was descended from a distinguished Jewish family and had been a kindergarten teacher and a bookkeeper for a large firm.
Born February 18, 1930, in Sofia, Bulgaria
Died January 19, 2013, in Rockville, Maryland
Norbert was born to a Jewish family in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia. His father, a prominent lawyer, was also active in the Jewish community. Sofia was home to approximately half of Bulgaria’s estimated 50,000 Jews during the mid-1930s.
Born May 18, 1929, in Regensburg, Germany
Ellen Zweig was born on May 18, 1929 in Regensburg, Germany to Julius and Rose Seligman. Ellen’s mother had grown up there and her parents, Leo and Marie Hirschfeld, owned a chain of department stores. After Ellen’s parents were married in 1928, her father opened one of the stores in the suburbs of Regensburg. A second daughter, named Margit, was born on February 18, 1933.