Holocaust Survivor Narratives

The narratives below are taken from The Holocaust: A North Carolina Teacher's Resource.  The narratives are broken down by the chapter in which they appear in the resource.

Holocaust survivor photographs.


Narratives of Holocaust Survivors

Who Became North Carolina Residents

Ch.1 Anti-Semitism in Europe
Morris Remembers the Threat- Morris Glass recounts the anti-Semitic bullying and attacks of his childhood in Poland

Ch. 2 Hitler's Rise to Power
Young Jews Become Aware- Five Holocaust survivors recall how they became aware as Jewish children of the rising threat of Nazism.

Ch. 3 Pre-War Nazi Germany
Walter Escapes at Age 12 & Jack Escapes at Age 14 - Walter Falk and Jack Hoffman were young Jewish teenagers who witnessed the violence of Kristallnacht in 1938 and were then sent by their parents to England through the Kindertransport program. 

Ch. 4 The Holocaust
Gizella in the Lutsk Ghetto - Gizella Abramson was 13 when her family was forced into the Lutsk ghetto in Poland.

Anatoly in the Zhmerinka Ghetto - Anatoly Kizhnerman was 5 when his family was forced into the Zhmerinka ghetto in the Ukraine. 

Morris in the Lodz Ghetto - Morris Glass was 12 when his family began four years of brutal existence in the Lodz ghetto in Poland.

Esther & Elias Mordechai Are Sent to Auschwitz - Esther and Elias Mordechai were young adults in Greece when the Nazis deported all the Jews of their town to Auschwitz. 

Susan Aims for Survival in Auschwitz - Susan Cernyak-Spatz was in her early 20s when she endured two grueling years in Auschwitz. 

Morris Endures Four Camps - Morris Stein endured hard labor for four years as a young teenager in Nazi concentration camps. 

Hank Questions a German Officer - Hank Brodt was a teenager in a concentration camp when he dared to ask a Nazi officer, “Why am I here? Why are any of us here?” 

Julius Survives Close Calls - Julius Blum was 19 when he was deported to Auschwitz and then Mauthausen, enduring hard labor until liberation. 

Rena Makes a Promise in Auschwitz - Rena Gelissen and her sister were in their early 20s when deported to Auschwitz, where Rena promised her sister they would share the same fate, whether gas chamber or survival. 

Ch. 5 Resistance
Gizella Joins the Resistance - Gizella Abramson was 14 when she joined the Resistance in Poland and completed high-risk assignments until she was arrested.

Barbara Gets False ID Papers - Barbara Rodbell was a teenager when she escaped deportation and served in the Dutch Resistance until liberation. 

Simone Saves Refugee Children - Simone Lipman was in her early 20s when she joined a children’s rescue group in France and later helped smuggle Jewish children to safe havens. 

Ch. 6 Rescuers
Shelly & Rachel Hide on a Farm - Shelly Weiner and Rachel Kizhnerman were first cousins aged 5 and 6 when hidden with their mothers by a Catholic family in Poland. 

Renée Hides with a Catholic Family - Renée Fink was 4 when her parents sent her into “open hiding” with a Catholic family in the Netherlands. 

Esther’s Rescuers Are Honored - Esther Lederman was a teenager when hidden in Poland by the Zal family (later honored as Righteous Gentiles). Bogdan Zal explains his family’s decision to save her and other Jews. 

Ch. 7 Liberation
Morris Sees the American Tanks - Morris Glass was 17 when he escaped a death train to Dachau and survived on the run for days until the American troops arrived. 

Edith Is Freed in Auschwitz - Edith Ross was 20 and ill with tuberculosis when she undertook an arduous journey from Auschwitz to her home in the Netherlands. 

Abe Survives a Death Train - Abe Piasek was 17 when liberated on a death train to Dachau when it was bombed by the Allies, and then spent two years in Displaced Persons camps until selected to come to the U.S. 

Zev Meets His Liberators - Zev Harel was 15 when liberated in the Ebensee concentration camp by a U.S. squadron whose reunions he has attended over the years.