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.
They put us in the wagons, cattle wagons, very, very crowded wagons, we, everyone has just a little room to sit down, they put a kible [bucket] for, uh, toilet, no water, no noth...a little water they let, but in a half hour it was gone. And they lock the door from outside and the train left the railroad. They told us--these were the Hungarian gendarmes, who take us to the, to the, to the wagons. In the way before we start to leave the ghetto, they came with a bag to each of us and say, "You have to put in this bag all your jewelry." They took my earrings, my watch, my ring. Everybody put his jewelry in that bag, that means the Hungarian gendarmes took those jewelries. Not too, because people, they hide at home or give to somebody to keep them, but even they keep earrings or, uh, watches. Then the wagons start, and they said that they will take us to north Hungary in the puszta [plain] to work in, on the farms. And we, we trust them, but later on they, we find out that they misled us, because when we arrive in Kassa [Kosice], that was a Hu...the last Hungarian, north city in Hungary, after Kassa start already it was the border to Czechoslavakia, which was occupied by German in that time, and because we then, they didn't get out at Kassa, didn't let out us to get out from the wagon in Kassa, the, the wagon and the train went to Poland--I mean Czechoslavakia and then to Poland--in that moment, everybody was very, very, very scared because we find out that they misled us, that we, they, no Hungary, no puszta work, no nothing. They took us to Poland but we didn't know where. And we traveled, I don't know, from Monday morning 'til, uh, Thursday dawn, I mean, Thursday early morning when we arrive in, in Auschwitz.