Testimonies

Grete Stern, geb. Feldsberg (1920) Austria

Grete Feldsberg was born in 1920 as the only child of Ignaz and Irma Feldsberg, nee Zweig. She spent her childhood in Mistelbach, a small town north of the Austrian capital Vienna. Her father and his brother owned a wine shop. In the 1930s, when Hitler came to power in Germany, the National Socialists, who were still illegal at that time in Austria, gained in influence and antisemitism increased. In 1937, the family moved to Vienna. Ignaz Feldsberg bought a tenement there which Grete was to inherit.

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Klara Tixell (1929) Denmark

On 2 October 1943, the same day that Klara turned 14, she was forced to leave her home in Copenhagen and was taken to Theresienstadt, located in German-occupied Czechoslovakia. After 18 months in the camp Klara was liberated with her mother and siblings. Her father died in the camp.

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Walter Frankenstein (1924) Germany

Walter was 12 when he was forced to leave his German school in Flatow. In order to continue his education, he moved to a Jewish children's home in Berlin. Meanwhile, attacks against Jews as well as laws depriving them of their rights were on the increase. When Walter was 17, he met Leonie. As Jews, they lived in constant danger in Nazi Germany. In 1949, they were forced to go underground and continued to flee from hiding place to hiding place until the end of the war.

(This testimony will soon be available in English.)

László Keller (1928) Hungary

László Keller was born in 1928, in Mezőcsát (near Miskolc, Hungary). His father, Béla Keller established a print shop. László’s parents and family weren’t strictly religious, although the town had an orthodox Jewish community. In the town, Jews and Christians were living together peacefully, however, among the town’s prominent figures, there were antisemites. He studied in the local elementary school for four years. It was a Jewish elementary school but Christians also studied there as it provided good education.

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Susanna Christensen (1933) Hungary

Susanna was 11 years old when she was forced to leave her hometown Makó in eastern Hungary. She was taken together with her family to a ghetto outside of the city Szeged, and was later deported to Bergen-Belsen. Only Susanna and her mother survived the Holocaust.

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Tobias Iafetas (1930-2019) Lithuania

Tobias Iafetas was 11 year old when the German Army entered his hometown Kaunas. Tobias survived the Jewish persecution in the Lithuanian border town Palanga where he was trapped on the first day of the war, June 22, 1941. Later he survived the Kaunas ghetto. Tobias lost his mother in the holocaust. He met the end of the war in Vilnius surrounded by his rescuers who became his new family.

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Halina Elczewska (1919-2013) Poland

Halina Elczewska née Goldblum was born on November 11, 1919 in Łódź in the Polonised family of Maurycy and Franciszka. Her father was a director at Markus Kohn company at 3/5 Łąkowa St. There, the family also lived before the war. After graduating from Eliza Orzeszkowa secondary school at 21 Kościuszki St. and passing her matriculation exam, Halina started working for the company "Anglo-Polish Trade Association" at 1 Kościuszki Alley.

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Jakob Ringart (1925-2014) Poland

Jakob was 14 years old when the German army marched into his home town of Lodz. Jakob survived the Holocaust but when the war was over almost every member of his large family had been murdered by the German Nazis.

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Janina Bauman (1926-2009) Poland

Janina Bauman was born in Warsaw, 18th of August 1926. Her assimilated, non-religious family was a part of Warsaw intelligentsia. Her father Szymon Lewinson was an urologist, like many of the members of the family. Shortly before the war outbreak Janina and her family went to the summerhouse in Konstancin. In September they came back to Warsaw.

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Oskar Tojzner (1923-2019) Poland (current Ukraine)

Oskar was 18 when he and an older brother fled the Nazis and headed east from the Polish town of Dąbrowica to the Soviet Union. Four years later, at the end of the Second World War, Oskar returned home. Through other Jews who had hidden in the forests, he discovered what had happened to his mother, father and younger siblings.

As the sole survivor in his family, Oskar started to build a new life for himself. But, in 1950, he became a victim of Stalin's terror and was sentenced to three years' hard labour in a Gulag camp in Siberia.

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Lea Gleitman (1924) Poland

Lea grew up in Oświęcim in southern Poland. During the German occupation, the town was given the notorious name of Auschwitz.

Lea was 15 when the Germans invaded Poland. A few years later, in the Sosnowiec ghetto, she was separated from her family and sent to a slave labour camp in what was then eastern Germany.

(This testimony will soon be available in English.)

Livia Fränkel (1927) Romania/Hungary

Livia was 16 years old when she was forced to leave her hometown Sighet in Northern Transylvania. She was taken together with her family to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Only Livia and her sister Hédi survived the Holocaust.

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Vasile Nussbaum (1929) Romania/Hungary

Vasile Nussbaum was born in 1929 in Turda, a small town near Cluj-Napoca, north of Transylvania, where his family moved.

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Reinhard Florian (1923-2014) Germany

Reinhard Florian was born in a Sinti family in Matheninken, East Prussia. As a “Gypsy,” Reinhard was not allowed to learn a trade and was assigned to forced agricultural labour.

In 1941, Reinhard was arrested by the Gestapo and eventually deported to Bialystok ghetto. Reinhard endured harsh conditions in several concentration camps in the years that followed and, in January 1945, he was forced on a death march to Loslau. From there Reinhard was again deported to Mauthausen and the Ebensee subcamp.

After the liberation, Reinhard learned that, besides his father, only one of his eight brothers and sisters had survived the war.

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Wellesina McCrary (1933) Germany/Poland

Wellesina McCrary was born in 1933 to a Romani family that led a nomadic lifestyle in Germany.

When the war broke out, Wellesina was six years old and her family was living in Poland. Together with her mother, relatives and siblings, Wellesina was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau and later on to Buchenwald.

After the liberation of the camp, Wellesina went to Berlin where she met her father who had come back from the Gulag camps in Siberia. Some years later Wellesina emigrated to the United States.

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Petre Pandelică (1927) Romania

Petre Pandelică was born into a settled (meaning non-nomadic) Romani family from the south of Romania. He was deported along with his parents and siblings to Transnistria in 1942.

By the end of war in 1945, Petre was eventually able to return to Romania. Having no house in Romania to return to, Petre joined the army and moved to Transylvania in northern Romania.

Petre and two of his brothers were the sole survivors of the family.

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