Read reflections and testimonies written by Holocaust survivors in their own words.
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October 22, 2020
My parents came from large families. I do not know the exact number of their siblings, but each had at least six. There was only one known survivor of the Holocaust among my mother’s brothers and sisters—her oldest brother, my uncle Adolf or Abraham. He managed to leave Germany and get to Bolivia with his wife, my aunt Helen, and their son, Norbert, my only cousin who survived the Holocaust, who sadly is now deceased. And I do not know of any survivors among my father’s brothers and sisters.
People Have Choices
October 23, 2019
The Museum has the motto “What You Do Matters,” and it is so true.
Schiffchen oder Hütchen (Little Boat or Little Hat)
November 14, 2018
I always marvel at the ability that my friends and colleagues have to remember the small details of their childhood. I, too, want to see the world the way I experienced it when I was a very young girl. For me, it is just so difficult to recollect, a demand on my mind. I am sure that it is not because I want to erase it due to what I went through. I just worry because I cannot remember. It makes me feel good when my daughter, Terese, assures me that it is “because there is just a lot to remember.”
Daily Miracles That Saved the Mendels Family
November 13, 2018
It was a miracle that while my father continued going to his office after the “Aryanization” of his business with his Jewish star on, he was not arrested and taken away to an internment camp between May 1941, when Jews were first rounded up, and the end of July 1942, when we fled.
November 1, 2016
In the winter of 1943, Dziadziu learned that the Nazis were going to burn down the ghetto in Lvov where my mother, father, baby sister, and I were hiding.
The Death Certificate That Saved Our Lives
November 1, 2016
Recently I heard someone saying that the Holocaust Museum, among many other things, is a grave for those who do not have a grave. I could immediately identify with the sentiment, because my father does not have a known grave that I am obliged to visit on his yahrzeit, the anniversary of a parent’s death in Jewish custom. As a matter of fact, we cannot even observe a proper yahrzeit because we do not know the date of his death.
A Gravestone for Those Who Have None
November 1, 2016
In 1964, the Cold War was alive and well, and travel from Hungary to Western Europe was still the privilege of world-famous performing artists—musicians, singers, and ballet dancers—as well as world-class athletes. However, travel restrictions from Hungary to other Communist countries had eased a little bit. One could apply for a one-time exit permit, and if the local chapter of the Young Communist Organization and the Trade Union gave a glowing endorsement, one could visit such coveted travel destinations as Romania, Bulgaria, or Poland.
Fabrik Aktion (Factory Action)
August 22, 2004
On the morning of February 27, 1943, a Saturday, we wearily stood at our workbenches turning out parts for some air-force equipment, my high school classmate and close friend, Gert, working not far from me. Suddenly the door opened and an SS officer stepped into the room. “Pay attention,” he called out. “Drop whatever you are doing and leave by the main entrance.” We were stunned.