Cecilie was the youngest of six children born to a religious, middle-class Jewish family. In 1939, Hungary occupied Cecilie's area of Czechoslovakia. Members of her family were imprisoned. The Germans occupied Hungary in 1944. Cecilie and her family had to move into a ghetto in Huszt and were later deported to Auschwitz. Cecilie and her sister were chosen for forced labor; the rest of her family was gassed upon arrival. Cecilie was transferred to several other camps, where she labored in factories. Allied forces liberated her in 1945. After the war she was reunited with and married her fiance.
They told us the day before that we can pack one small suitcase and we should be ready to leave the ghetto. When we came to the, it was a, um, at one time a factory for, um, bricks, and there they started to search us again. The SS was there also, and every woman had to, and every girl had to undress, naked, and we were searched internally for valuables. My mother was a very religious person, and all I could think of was how terrible this is for my mother to go through something such, such a terrible ordeal. When we were finished my mother took the baby from my sister, she, because she was holding the little boy, Danny, and she had a bottle of milk for the child. And the SS grabbed the bottle of milk and said, "Let's see, you cow, what you have there." My mother pleaded, "Please, this is, the child needs the milk. Please don't take the milk from, from my grandson." He started to beat her with a horsewhip, and when I saw that she was being beaten, so I screamed, so at least I got away the attention from my mother. So my mother ran into the, because the trains were, were right there, we were just, you know, going into those, uh, cattle trains. So I took away the attention from my mother, and he started to beat me with that whip and finally, um, I was able to run away also, and we were finally in the cattle train.