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Henny was born into an upper-middle-class Jewish family in Kovno, Lithuania. She and her brother attended private schools. In June 1940 the Soviets occupied Lithuania, but little seemed to change until the German invasion in June 1941. The Germans sealed off a ghetto in Kovno in August 1941. Henny and her family were forced to move into the ghetto. Henny married in the ghetto in November 1943; her dowry was a pound of sugar. She survived several roundups during which some of her friends and family were deported. Henny was herself deported to the Stutthof concentration camp in 1944, when the Germans liquidated the Kovno ghetto. She was placed in a forced-labor group. The Germans forced Henny and other prisoners on a death march as Soviet troops advanced. After Soviet troops liberated Henny in 1945, she eventually reunited with her husband and moved 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.
After Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, Siegfried fled with a friend. They attempted to get papers allowing them to go to France, but were turned over to the Germans. Siegfried was jailed, taken to Berlin, and then transported to the Sachsenhausen camp near Berlin in October 1939. He was among the first Polish Jews imprisoned in Sachsenhausen. Inmates were mistreated and made to carry out forced labor. After two years, Siegfried was deported to the Gross-Rosen concentration camp, where he was forced to work in the stone quarry. In October 1942, Siegfried was deported from Gross-Rosen to the Auschwitz camp in occupied Poland. While there, Siegfried tried to use his experience as a pharmacist to save ill prisoners. As Soviet forces approached the Auschwitz camp in January 1945, Siegfried was forced on a death march from the camp. Those prisoners who could not continue or keep up were killed. Siegfried survived.
Leo was arrested on the first day of the war, and assigned to forced labor in a shipyard, then on a farm. In 1940, like other Jews, he was deported to Stutthof. There, he upholstered furniture for the SS. The following year, he was sent to Auschwitz, where he cleaned the streets and dug ditches. As the Allies neared, Leo was evacuated to a series of camps. On a death march from Flossenbürg, the Nazis dispersed, allowing Leo and other prisoners to get away. He was liberated by US forces in April 1945.
Edward was born to a Jewish family in Hamburg. In 1935, the Nuremberg Laws prohibited marriage or sexual relations between German non-Jews and Jews. Edward was then in his mid-twenties. Edward was arrested for dating a non-Jewish woman. Classified as a habitual offender, he was later deported to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, near Berlin. He was forced to perform hard labor in construction projects. Edward had married shortly before his imprisonment, and his wife made arrangements for their emigration from Germany. Edward was released from custody in September 1938 and left Germany. He stayed with relatives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and later immigrated to the United States.
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.
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 1939 and established a ghetto in Warsaw in 1940. After her parents were deported, Doris hid with her sister and other relatives. Doris's sister and an uncle were killed, and she learned that her parents had been killed. Her grandmother committed suicide. Doris was smuggled out of the ghetto and lived as a non-Jewish maid and cook, but was ultimately deported to the Ravensbrück camp. Upon arrival there, Doris and her friend Pepi contemplated swallowing poison, but decided against it.
Ernest was studying in Paris, France, until February 1939, when he returned to Brno, Czechoslovakia. The Germans occupied the latter region soon thereafter, but Ernest managed to return to France. He joined a Czech unit in the French army from October 1939 until the fall of France in May 1940. He made his way to unoccupied France, where he taught for a while. He then went to Grenoble, and again taught, but was arrested because he did not have the appropriate papers. Ernest was interned in Le Vernet camp for two years. He was deported to the Drancy camp, to Upper Silesia in September 1942, and then to Laurahuette (a subcamp of Auschwitz where forced laborers worked in mines and furnaces). He was in Laurahuette until August 1943, when he was sent to the Blechhammer subcamp of Auschwitz. After liberation, Ernest eventually made his way to the United States.
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