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  • Benjamin Frydmacher

    ID Card

    Benjamin was born in the industrial city of Lublin to a large, Yiddish-speaking Jewish family. He attended public school, and after he graduated at the age of 14, he apprenticed at the same tannery where his father was the tannery master. 1933-39: After completing his apprenticeship, Benjamin became the assistant tannery master. After his father's death in 1938, he became the production tannery master. He and his wife, Gucia, lived with his mother at 50 Lubartowska Street. In 1938 the Frydmachers had a…

    Tags: Lublin ghettos
    Benjamin Frydmacher
  • Benjamin Soep

    ID Card

    Benjamin, called "Benno" by his family and friends, grew up in a religious Jewish household in Amsterdam. Benno's father, a successful diamond manufacturer, was president of the Amsterdam Jewish community. Benno had two younger sisters and enjoyed collecting stamps. 1933-39: After he obtained some work experience in a department store, Benno joined his father in the diamond business. Benno adhered strictly to Jewish law. He loved tennis and skiing, and in 1938, while skiing in Switzerland, he met a girl…

    Benjamin Soep
  • Schloma Wolf (Willy) Szapiro

    ID Card

    Born to a Jewish family, Willy left Poland at age 20 and emigrated to Palestine. He became active in the workers' organization to end the British mandate there. His activities led to his arrest on May 1, 1931. After serving a two-year prison sentence, Willy was expelled from Palestine. 1933-39: In 1933 Willy left Palestine for Austria, where he joined the ranks of the workers' movement. The economic depression in Austria gave momentum to the movement's cause, and Willy and his friends were closely watched…

    Schloma Wolf (Willy) Szapiro
  • Frederick Dermer

    ID Card

    Frederick was born to a Jewish family in the Austrian capital of Vienna. His father died when he was a baby, and he and his mother moved into an apartment with Frederick's widowed grandfather. As a young boy, Frederick attended a Viennese public school. 1933-39: Frederick was a rambunctious child. Once, when his grandfather was baby-sitting, Frederick used a silk lampshade as a "parachute," and jumped from the top of the wardrobe closet. That was the last time Frederick's grandfather would baby-sit.…

    Frederick Dermer
  • Judith Margareth Konijn

    ID Card

    Judith was the younger of two children born to religious, middle-class Jewish parents. Judith's mother, Clara, was Sephardic, a descendant of Jews who had been expelled from Spain in 1492. Her father, Lodewijk, was a traveling representative for a firm based in Amsterdam. The family lived in an apartment in a new section of Amsterdam on the southern outskirts. 1933-39: Judith attended grade school with her cousin Hetty who was the same age. Judith loved to study. Her mother taught piano to students who…

    Tags: Amsterdam
    Judith Margareth Konijn
  • Moise Gani

    ID Card

    Moise's family were Romaniot Jews, a group that had lived in Greek cities and the Balkans for 1,100 years. In the early 1920s Moise's family moved to Italy, where his father tried to find work. Moise attended school, and when his family returned to Greece after two years, he remained in Italy to complete school. When Moise returned to Preveza at age 17, he had forgotten Greek. 1933-39: Moise worked as a bookkeeper and administrator at the local electric company in Preveza, and he lived with his parents.…

    Tags: Auschwitz
    Moise Gani
  • Samuel Zoltan

    ID Card

    Samuel's parents immigrated to Palestine when he was very young. They lived in Rishon le Zion, the first settlement in Palestine founded by Jews from outside of Palestine. After graduating from high school, Samuel became active in a movement challenging the British mandate in Palestine. 1933-39: Samuel was expelled from Palestine in 1936 because of his outspoken criticism of the British mandate. He went to France and then to Spain just after the civil war began. Samuel fought for three years with the…

    Samuel Zoltan
  • Wolf Wajsbrot

    ID Card

    When Wolf was a young boy, his family moved to France to escape Poland's economic instability and growing antisemitism. Soon after they settled in Paris, his father found work in construction, and Wolf started elementary school. 1933-39: Paris was home to Wolf, but he loved to listen to his parents reminisce about autumns in Krasnik and journeys to Lublin. Hitler invaded Poland in 1939. The Wajsbrots learned of the death camps and mass deportations of Jews. Wolf's parents no longer spoke of the past. Wolf…

    Wolf Wajsbrot
  • Herman Judelowitz

    ID Card

    Herman was the oldest of nine children born to a Jewish family in the Latvian village of Aizpute. He was a World War I veteran, and after the conflict, in 1918, he fought for the establishment of a free Latvian republic. Two years later he married Sarah Gamper and they settled in the city of Liepaja, where they owned a shoe store. By the late 1920s they had two daughters, Fanny and Jenny. 1933-39: Herman designed patterns for the uppers of shoes, which he used to fashion into finished shoes. His shoe…

    Tags: Latvia
    Herman Judelowitz
  • Rachel Lea Galperin

    ID Card

    Rachel, born Rachel Karpus, was born to a Jewish family in the northeastern Polish city of Vilna. At the age of 16, Rachel married Reuven Galperin, a typesetter for a Jewish newspaper in the city, and the couple subsequently had 16 children. Only nine of the children lived to the 1930s. 1933-39: In addition to caring for her children, Rachel also operated a small grocery on Nowigorod Street. In 1938 Rachel's husband died. One year later, on September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland and 17 days after that…

    Tags: Vilna Poland
    Rachel Lea Galperin
  • Rosalia Wourgaft Schatz

    ID Card

    Rosalia was raised by Jewish parents in the small, predominantly Jewish industrial city of Tulchin in southwestern Ukraine. She married Aaron Schatz, and together they raised four children in the city of Odessa. In 1919, when her family was grown, Rosalia and her daughter Ludmilla immigrated via Romania to France after Aaron was killed during the Russian civil war. 1933-39: Rosalia settled in Bagneux, a suburb of Paris. She spoke only Russian and Yiddish and found Paris to be a different world from the…

    Rosalia Wourgaft Schatz
  • Ruth Freund Reiser

    ID Card

    Ruth was a child of middle-class Jewish parents living in Czechoslovakia's capital, Prague, where her father worked as a bank clerk. As native Czechs, her parents considered themselves as much Czech as Jewish. In 1933 Ruth was in her second year at a public girls' secondary school. 1933-39: The Germans occupied Prague in March 1939 and imposed many restrictions. Jews were no longer allowed to attend school, so Ruth's education stopped at age 13. Jews had to surrender many of their possessions such as…

    Tags: Auschwitz
    Ruth Freund Reiser
  • Chaya Medalion

    ID Card

    Chaya and her brother and two sisters were raised in a religious, Yiddish-speaking home in the town of Kozienice, situated in east central Poland near a large birch forest. As a child, Chaya learned Hebrew. She attended Polish public schools and graduated at 14. Her father owned a factory that produced handmade shoes. 1933-39: Chaya was active in the Zionist movement, through which she met her boyfriend, Lewek Szabasson. Chaya and Lewek would stroll on Kozienice's main promenade which was at the…

    Tags: Poland ghettos
    Chaya Medalion
  • Vita Rivkina

    ID Card

    Because both of her parents had died by the time Vita was 5 years old, she went to live with her cousins. At the age of 18, Vita married Iosif Rivkin, and the couple moved to Minsk where they raised three daughters--Hacia, Dora and Berta. 1933-39: By the early 1930s, the Rivkin family lived on Novomesnitskaya Street in central Minsk, near the Svisloch River. In the 1930s the girls attended Soviet state schools and were members of the Soviet youth organization, Young Pioneers. By the late 1930s Minsk was…

    Tags: Minsk
    Vita Rivkina
  • Israel Yitzak Kisielnicki

    ID Card

    The youngest of three children, Israel Yitzak was born to Jewish parents living 35 miles east of Warsaw in the small, predominantly Jewish town of Kaluszyn. Israel's mother was a housewife, and his father was a merchant who often traveled on business, by horse and wagon, to Warsaw. Israel attended public school and also received religious instruction. 1933-39: When Germany invaded Poland several days ago, many kids Israel's age, afraid of what would happen if the Germans occupied Poland, fled to the USSR,…

    Israel Yitzak Kisielnicki
  • Betje Jakobs

    ID Card

    Betje and her sister Saartje were born to Jewish parents in the town of Zwolle in the Netherlands' north central province of Overijssel. Betje was known affectionately as "Bep" to her friends. The Jakobs family owned a successful sporting goods store. 1933-39: As a young girl, Betje enjoyed playing the piano, knitting and tennis. At age 16, while still in secondary school, she began to date Maurits Wijnberg, a boy two years her senior, whose family owned Zwolle's Hotel Wijnberg. 1940-42: The Germans…

    Betje Jakobs
  • Curt Egon Rosenberg

    ID Card

    Curt was the oldest of three children born to a Jewish family in the famous German university city of Goettingen. His father owned a linen factory that had been in the family since it was founded by Curt's grandfather. Goettingen had a small Jewish population, with only one synagogue. Curt attended public school in the city. 1933-39: The Nazis came to power in 1933. A year later, the Rosenbergs' factory was seized and the family was forced to move to Hamburg. Because he was Jewish, Curt was arrested in…

    Curt Egon Rosenberg
  • Stahlecker Report

    Timeline Event

    October 15, 1941. On this date, Walter Stahlecker submitted a report on the killing of Jewish civilians in the northwestern Soviet Union.

    Stahlecker Report
  • German Troops Occupy Hungary

    Timeline Event

    March 19, 1944. On this date, Germany occupied Hungary and installed General Dome Sztojay as prime minister.

    German Troops Occupy Hungary
  • Lilly Appelbaum Malnik describes the process of registration in Auschwitz

    Oral History

    Germany invaded Belgium in May 1940. After the Germans seized her mother, sister, and brother, Lilly went into hiding. With the help of friends and family, Lilly hid her Jewish identity for two years. But, in 1944, Lilly was denounced by some Belgians and deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau via the Mechelen camp. After a death march from Auschwitz, Lilly was liberated at Bergen-Belsen by British forces.

    Lilly Appelbaum Malnik describes the process of registration in Auschwitz
  • Fritzie Weiss Fritzshall describes deportation in cattle car to Auschwitz

    Oral History

    Fritzie's father immigrated to the United States, but by the time he could bring his family over, war had begun and Fritzie's mother feared attacks on transatlantic shipping. Fritzie, her mother, and two brothers were eventually sent to Auschwitz. Her mother and brothers died. Fritzie survived by pretending to be older than her age and thus a stronger worker. On a death march from Auschwitz, Fritzie ran into a forest, where she was later liberated.

    Tags: deportations
    Fritzie Weiss Fritzshall describes deportation in cattle car to Auschwitz
  • Irene Weber describes how obtaining a work card could offer protection from deportation

    Oral History

    Separated from her family, Irene was deported from the Sosnowiec ghetto to the Gleiwitz camp in March 1943. After a death march and an attempted escape from a transport out of Gleiwitz, Irene was imprisoned in Prague, then Theresienstadt, where as a political prisoner she was sentenced to death by starvation. For the five months before liberation, she shared a cell with 59 ailing women. Irene was the sole member of her Jewish family to survive the war.

    Tags: deportations
    Irene Weber describes how obtaining a work card could offer protection from deportation
  • Auschwitz Through the Lens of the SS: Frankfurt Trial

    Article

    Karl Höcker’s album shows him in close contact to the main perpetrators at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Learn about his 1963 trial and the significance of his album.

    Auschwitz Through the Lens of the SS: Frankfurt Trial
  • Theresienstadt: Establishment

    Article

    Learn about the establishment of the Theresienstadt camp/ghetto, which served multiple purposes from 1941-45 and had an important propaganda function for the Germans.

    Theresienstadt: Establishment
  • The Evian Conference

    Article

    At the July 1938 Evian Conference, delegates from nations and organizations discussed the issue of Jewish refugees fleeing persecution in Nazi Germany. Learn more

    The Evian Conference

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