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Irene and Rene were born Renate and Rene Guttmann. The family moved to Prague shortly after the twins' birth, where they were living when the Germans occupied Bohemia and Moravia in March 1939. A few months later, uniformed Germans arrested their father. Decades later, Irene and Rene learned that he was killed at the Auschwitz camp in December 1941. Irene, Rene, and their mother were deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto, and later to the Auschwitz camp. At Auschwitz, the twins were separated and subjected to medical experiments. Irene and Rene remained separated for some time after their liberation from Auschwitz. The group Rescue Children brought Irene to the United States in 1947, where she was reunited with Rene in 1950.
Barbara was born in the province of Arad in northern Transylvania, Romania. She went to school until the Hungarian army occupied the area in 1940 and she was no longer allowed to attend. After the Germans occupied Hungary in 1944, discrimination against Jews intensified. Barbara and her family were forced into the Oradea ghetto. She worked in the ghetto hospital until she was deported to the Auschwitz camp. At Auschwitz, she worked in the kitchens to receive extra food. She was deported to another camp, and later forced on a death march. Toward the war's end, the Red Cross rescued Barbara. She returned to Arad after World War II and worked as a biochemist.
Following the German occupation of Hungary in March 1944, Bart was forced into a ghetto established in his home town. From May to July 1944, the Germans deported Jews from Hungary to the Auschwitz killing center in occupied Poland. Bart was deported by cattle car to Auschwitz. At Auschwitz, he was selected to perform forced labor, drilling and digging in a coal mine. As Soviet forces advanced toward the Auschwitz camp in January 1945, the Germans forced most of the prisoners on a death march out of the camp. Along with a number of ill prisoners who were in the camp infirmary, Bart was one of the few inmates who remained in the camp at the time of liberation.
Cecilie was the youngest of six children born to a religious, middle-class Jewish family. In 1939, Hungary occupied Cecilie's area of Czechoslovakia. Members of her family were imprisoned. The Germans occupied Hungary in 1944. Cecilie and her family had to move into a ghetto in Huszt and were later deported to Auschwitz. Cecilie and her sister were chosen for forced labor; the rest of her family was gassed upon arrival. Cecilie was transferred to several other camps, where she labored in factories. Allied forces liberated her in 1945. After the war she was reunited with and married her fiance.
Fritzie's father immigrated to the United States, but by the time he could bring his family over, war had begun and Fritzie's mother feared attacks on transatlantic shipping. Fritzie, her mother, and two brothers were eventually sent to Auschwitz. Her mother and brothers died. Fritzie survived by pretending to be older than her age and thus a stronger worker. On a death march from Auschwitz, Fritzie ran into a forest, where she was later liberated.
In 1942, Hana was confined with other Jews to the Theresienstadt ghetto, where she worked as a nurse. There, amid epidemics and poverty, residents held operas, debates, and poetry readings. In 1944, she was deported to Auschwitz. After a month there, she was sent to Sackisch, a Gross-Rosen subcamp, where she made airplane parts at forced labor. She was liberated in May 1945.
Volosianka was annexed by Hungary in 1939 and occupied by the Germans in 1944. Helen was about 13 when she and her family were deported to the Uzhgorod ghetto. They were then deported to various camps. Helen and her older sister survived Auschwitz, forced labor at a camp munitions factory, and Bergen-Belsen. When Helen was too weak to move, her sister would support her during roll call and drag her to work, knowing that labor was the only chance for survival.
The Germans invaded Poland in September 1939. Leo and his family were confined to a ghetto in Lodz. Leo was forced to work as a tailor in a uniform factory. The Lodz ghetto was liquidated in 1944, and Leo was deported to Auschwitz. He was then sent to the Gross-Rosen camp system for forced labor. As the Soviet army advanced, the prisoners were transferred to the Ebensee camp in Austria. The Ebensee camp was liberated in 1945.
Germany invaded Belgium in May 1940. After the Germans seized her mother, sister, and brother, Lilly went into hiding. With the help of friends and family, Lilly hid her Jewish identity for two years. But, in 1944, Lilly was denounced by some Belgians and deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau via the Mechelen camp. After a death march from Auschwitz, Lilly was liberated at Bergen-Belsen by British forces.
In 1939, Slovak fascists took over Topol'cany, where Miso lived. In 1942, Miso was deported to the Slovak-run Novaky camp and then to Auschwitz. At Auschwitz, he was tattooed with the number 65,316, indicating that 65,315 prisoners preceded him in that series of numbering. He was forced to labor in the Buna works and then in the Birkenau "Kanada" detachment, unloading incoming trains. In late 1944, prisoners were transferred to camps in Germany. Miso escaped during a death march from Landsberg and was liberated by US forces.
Morris grew up in a very religious Jewish household and was active in a Zionist sports league. When the Germans invaded Poland in September 1939, Morris's town was severely damaged. Morris's family was forced to live in a ghetto, and Morris was assigned to forced labor. After a period of imprisonment in Konskie, a town about 30 miles from Przedborz, Morris was deported to the Auschwitz camp. He was assigned to the Jawischowitz subcamp of Auschwitz. In January 1945, Morris was forced on a death march and was sent first to the Troeglitz subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp and then to Theresienstadt. After the war, he stayed for a time in Czechoslovakia and Germany before immigrating to the United States.
The Germans invaded Poland in September 1939. When Makow was occupied, Sam fled to Soviet territory. He returned to Makow for provisions, but was forced to remain in the ghetto. In 1942, he was deported to Auschwitz. As the Soviet army advanced in 1944, Sam and other prisoners were sent to camps in Germany. The inmates were put on a death march early in 1945. American forces liberated Sam after he escaped during a bombing raid.
Rene and his twin sister Irene were born Rene and Renate Guttman. The family moved to Prague shortly after the twins' birth, where they were living when the Germans occupied Bohemia and Moravia in March 1939. A few months later, uniformed Germans arrested their father. Decades later, Rene and Irene learned that he was killed in the Auschwitz camp in December 1941. Rene, Irene, and their thier mother were deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto, and later to Auschwitz. There, the twins were separated and subjected to medical experiments. After the war Rene stayed with a doctor's family in Kosice, Czechoslovakia, before moving to the United States and being reunited with Irene.
Mayer grew up in a rural town that was occupied by Hungary in 1940. After Germany occupied Hungary in March 1944, Mayer and his family were forced into a ghetto. They were then deported to the Auschwitz camp in Poland, where Mayer's parents and brothers perished. Mayer was selected for forced labor, and was later transferred to a satellite camp of Dachau, in Germany. He was liberated from Dachau in 1945. Sponsored by a children's committee, he immigrated to the United States.
Following the German occupation of Hungary in March 1944, Bart was forced into a ghetto established in his home town. From May to July 1944, the Germans deported Jews from Hungary to the Auschwitz killing center in occupied Poland. Bart was deported by cattle car to Auschwitz. At Auschwitz, he was selected to perform forced labor, drilling and digging in a coal mine. As Soviet forces advanced toward the Auschwitz camp in January 1945, the Germans forced most of the prisoners on a death march out of the camp. Along with a number of ill prisoners who were in the camp infirmary, Bart was one of the few inmates who remained in the camp at the time of liberation. He survived to be liberated by hiding in the camp even after many other prisoners had been forced on a death march in January 1945.
Ruth was four years old when the Germans invaded Poland and occupied Ostrowiec. Her family was forced into a ghetto. Germans took over her father's photography business, although he was allowed to continue working outside the ghetto. Before the ghetto was liquidated, Ruth's parents sent her sister into hiding, and managed to get work at a labor camp outside the ghetto. Ruth also went into hiding, either in nearby woods or within the camp itself. When the camp was liquidated, Ruth's parents were split up. Ruth was sent to several concentration camps before eventually being deported to Auschwitz. When Ruth became sick, she was sent to the camp infirmary, managing to escape just before a selection. After the war, Ruth lived in an orphanage in Krakow until she was reunited with her mother.
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