Edith Riemer

Edith Riemer

Born: April 22, 1930

Berlin, Germany

Hela Pinsker and Elimelech Riemer were married in 1928. Two years later the Jewish couple's only child, Edith, was born. The Riemers lived in a comfortable apartment in Berlin, in a building that also housed offices of the Communist Party of Germany.

1933-39: Hitler banned the Communists, so their offices in Edith's building were shut down. When these offices were later broken into, the Gestapo blamed it on "the Jews." Though Edith's family wasn't involved, the Gestapo said that if the culprit was not found within 72 hours, her family would be punished. Her father quickly sent Edith and her mother to Poland, where her parents were born. They left Berlin with only a little cash from the bank, and her father joined them later.

1940-45: In 1942 Edith's mother was killed in Poland by the Germans. Edith was smuggled to the Tarnow ghetto to live with an aunt. From Tarnow she was deported to Auschwitz, and was lined up to be gassed. The entrance to the gas chambers had double doors, and as they were being pushed in, Edith hid, curled up in a ball between the two doors. The German in charge of closing the outside door found and beat her. But since the chamber's interior door was already sealed, it was too late to put her in the gas chamber.

Edith was assigned to forced labor. In 1945 she was liberated at the Bergen-Belsen camp. The next year she immigrated to Palestine, where she was later reunited with her father.

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