Bella was the oldest of four children born to a Jewish family in Sosnowiec. Her father owned a knitting factory. After the Germans invaded Poland in 1939, they took over the factory. The family's furniture was given to a German woman. Bella was forced to work in a factory in the Sosnowiec ghetto in 1941. At the end of 1942 the family was deported to the Bedzin ghetto. Bella was deported to the Graeben subcamp of Gross-Rosen in 1943 and to Bergen-Belsen in 1944. She was liberated in April 1945.
I want you to know that when the war ended, I...I weighed the equivalent of probably what is 70 pounds, and I was skin and bone. And I do remember that when that British soldier came, and asked me...he said he's...can he do something for me? And I said to him, "I'd like two things." I'd like him to give me...bring me warm socks. We're talking, this was already May. It was warm. I was cold. I wanted warm socks, knee-length socks. And I wanted sugar. So he brought me...I was craving sugar, I suppose. He brought me socks and I do remember two things. I remember when he...that I put on the socks and I started to cry because I didn't have any calf. I was all bones and this...the knee-length socks wouldn't stay on. But I also remember that when he gave me the sugar, and it may not have been more than maybe a quarter of a pound maybe, a little bag of sugar, but it was maybe, as I said, sugar, just plain sugar. I took that bag and I just poured it into my mouth. I just ate it like that. And I remember...I remember it because he got scared, and he ran out looking for the nurses because he thought God knows what I did to myself by eating all this sugar. And I remember the nurse said to him in German that it's okay. I was probably just craving sugar.
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.