Oral History

Barbara Marton Farkas describes the death march from the Gross-Rosen camp in Germany

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.


During the night we start to hear all kind of noises: airplane and shooting, and.... And they said that the Russia are starting to, to get closer and closer. And they evacuated the, that, those barracks, and they put us on feet to walk. I don't remember exactly the place where they took us, other Lager [camp], and there also were a good number of people, they took those people too, attach to our group, go further. Like a snowball, at the end we were a lot of people, I don't know how many, but, thousand, maybe. And from that date, from end of February until end of April, that means March, two months, more than two months, we were all the time going from here to there, by foot, by train, uh, getting out from the train on the camp and eating green leaves, and no water. And then we start to have a lot, a lot of lice because we didn't have water to drink, not to wash ourself. And already was, uh, at one night, we were in wagon, and the wagon was lock up. One night, we heard the SS men outside talking, of the wagon, "Our Fuehrer is dead. Our Fuehrer is Tot," he said. And we, we just were listening, we didn't know which Fuehrer because was a Fuehrer of the camp and was a Fuehrer Hitler.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
View Archival Details

This content is available in the following languages

Thank you for supporting our work

We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors.