Born 1936, in Vienna, Austria
Katie was born into a Jewish family in Vienna and resided on an estate called Edmunshof in the state of Burgenland bordering Hungary. Her father, Ludwig, an agronomist, leased land from the Holy Cross Order and built a general farm there. Her mother, Greta, who grew up in Vienna in an affluent family, reluctantly moved to the countryside. Katie had one younger brother named Adi.
1938: Shortly after the annexation of Austria, the Gestapo arrested Katie’s father. Due to her mother’s great perseverance and a lot of money, she succeeded in getting him released from prison. However, he had to leave the country immediately. A short time later, the family joined her father on her uncle’s estate in Hungary.
1942-43: As antisemitism worsened, the family tried to become invisible in the village to no avail. One night, two members of the Hungarian Gestapo arrested them and took them to the national prison in Budapest. Eventually they were transferred to the Kistarcsa concentration camp outside Budapest. One day an announcement was made that young children who had relatives in Budapest could be sent to them. Her parents decided to send Katie and Adi to their aunt in Budapest, but instead they ended up in a children’s camp.
1944: The children were marched into the ghetto in Budapest ghetto. Katie’s father, who alternated between escaping Kistarcha and being rearrested, commandeered them out of the ghetto and brought them to their aunt’s apartment to momentary safety. Her building was one of Raoul Wallenberg’s “protected houses.” However, by the fall of 1944, the protection was no longer helpful, and Katie, her father, brother, and aunt were marched into the ghetto again.
1945: The Russians liberated the ghetto in February. Katie and her family returned to her aunt’s apartment. Her father immediately started searching for her mother who they thought was in a labor camp. He ultimately found her in a hospital in terrible condition and brought her home.
Katie immigrated to the United States with her family in November 1948. She has two children and three grandchildren.