Read reflections and testimonies written by Holocaust survivors in their own words.
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Putting a Name to a Hidden Face
November 16, 2022
Two of the most precious photographs I have of my family were taken at my brit milah, the ritual circumcision ceremony performed on all male Jewish babies when they are eight days old. Because I was born a year and a half into the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, my parents’ friends counseled against a circumcision. “It will identify him as being Jewish,” they said. My parents’ dilemma was solved when a pediatrician who examined me shortly after I was born told my father that I needed “a minor operation, called a circumcision.” My father then reminded him of our Jewish tradition and that I would be ritually circumcised. That is how family and friends came to gather in our home on December 1, 1941, to observe this first milestone of a Jewish life.
September 18, 2005
The skeletal figures descended the white buses with uncertainty and in bewilderment looked around at the throng of civilized human beings awaiting their arrival.
My Road to Freedom
September 21, 2003
It was about the end of April 1945. Days in camp turned into long months, months into years, one day resembling the other. This day in this small camp, a subcamp of Ravensbrück, began like any other day. Wake-up call at dawn, with all my strength I gathered my weary, aching bones to face another day of misery and abuse.