Read reflections and testimonies written by Holocaust survivors in their own words.

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  • My Grandfather

    I was very fortunate to have had a happy childhood. The memories of my childhood kept me going during the terrible war. My childhood was just beautiful. I received a great deal of love and caring from both my parents and grandparents.

    Tags:   erika eckstutechoes of memory, volume 6

  • Coming to the United States

    On April 16, 1957, my husband, Robert Kauder, passed away. He would have turned 37 on May 27, his next birthday. I lived in Prague had two children at that time—my daughter was ten and my son was five. Every day, after my husband passed away, I went for a walk and left my children with “Babinka” (grandma), who stayed with me. She was like a mother to me although she was not technically family. I did this for about a month. One day she told me that when I returned, the children would be in an orphanage. I hesitated for a moment and then left. Then I started to think about how she was not my mother, she was really a stranger to me and my children, and I could not believe that she would do this to me.

    Tags:   erika eckstutechoes of memory, volume 6

  • My Reason for Writing My Story

    My family came to Romania in 1931 from Znojmo in the Czech Republic when I was about three years old. My parents moved us to Stanesti, a town in the Romanian province of Bukovina where my paternal grandparents lived. My father told my grandfather that he wanted to take the whole family to Palestine and my grandfather said that it was a good idea but he would have to find someone who would take the cow, the horse, and the chickens. Father, unfortunately, could not find anyone. My family consisted of my mother, my father, and my older sister. A lawyer by profession, my father became the chief civil official of the town and we lived in the house assigned to him in that position.

    Tags:   erika eckstutechoes of memory, volume 5

  • January, 1945

    In January of 1945, we came to Snina. We came from Kiev. The reason we came was because my friend Monica told me on the night of December 24 that the NKVD [Soviet secret police] would come and pick up my sister and the old lady, Ms. Diernfeld, whom we had met during our travels in Russia. She referred to my sister as a German spy because she had very blonde hair and I never referred to her as my sister. I never talked about my family or anything personal.

    Tags:   erika eckstutechoes of memory, volume 4

  • My Life in Stanestie

    How do you describe a little town you loved when you were young? I never thought of it as a little town. It had everything. I lived with my father, mother, and sister. I went to school, played there, and had lots of friends. I also had my grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins nearby.

    Tags:   erika eckstutechoes of memory, volume 3

  • In The Ghetto with My Mother

    One day my mother asked me to take off my yellow star because we had to go to the country. We lived in a ghetto, and we were not supposed to leave. If we were caught on the outside we could be killed and they also might kill other people in the ghetto for good measure.

    Tags:   erika eckstutechoes of memory, volume 3

  • Erika’s Story

    I remember the time we left Russia and we fled to Poland. We had to leave Kiev in a hurry in 1944. My friend Monika told me that the NKVD secret police were coming to get my sister and the lady we were with, Mrs. Dirnfeld. Monika didn’t know that Beatrice was my sister. I never talked about my sister and who she was, or the lady, Mrs. Dirnfeld.

    Tags:   erika eckstutechoes of memory, volume 2

  • Teach Love, Not Hate

    One day in 1941, four men came to our house. They took my family and me to the outskirts of the town, where all the Jews from the town where gathered. We were about 500 Jews. The saddest part was that a lot of the killers were our neighbors.

    Tags:   echoes of memory, volume 1erika eckstut