Born: Kosice, Czechoslovakia
June 29, 1898
Janka was one of seven children raised in a Yiddish-and Hungarian-speaking household by religious Jewish parents in the city of Kosice. In 1918, when she was 20 years old, Kosice changed from Hungarian to Czechoslovak rule. Three years later, Janka married Ludovit Gruenberger, and their three children were born Czech citizens.
1933-39: Janka was an accomplished milliner, and she helped her husband run a tailoring business from their apartment. Like many Jews in Kosice, Janka and Ludovit were upset when Czechoslovakia was partitioned by Nazi Germany, and Kosice was returned to Hungarian rule in November 1938. Kosice's new Hungarian rulers admired Nazi Germany and quickly introduced anti-Jewish laws.
1940-44: In 1941 the Gruenberger family was seized in a Hungarian roundup of foreign-born Jews and interned in camps in northern Hungary. They were released in 1942, but Janka's son and husband were taken by the Hungarians soon after as conscript labor. German troops entered Kosice on March 19, 1944, and that April, Janka and her daughters were concentrated with other Jews in a brickyard at the edge of the city. One month later, Janka and her daughters were deported to Auschwitz.
Janka and her daughter, Zuzana, were gassed immediately on arriving in Auschwitz in May 1944. Janka was 45 years old.