I was born in Poland, and lived with my parents and siblings. My grandparents, my aunt, my uncle and their families also lived nearby. But this changed in September 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. A year later all Jewish people lived in the ghetto and we had to wear a yellow Star of David on our left arm. On the star the word “Juden” was written. The SS made us sweep the streets and do other chores. In 1943 we were taken on black buses with other young women to the city of Oberlustadt and the concentration camp that was there. We were taken away from our families and I never saw my family again. I worked in the Kluger factory and every day the guards walked us ten kilometers to work. Life was very hard.
In May 1945 we were liberated. I met my cousin who had been in a camp nearby. She had typhus but fortunately did recover. Through the Red Cross my cousin found her sister in Sweden. Soon after I met my future husband, Alex, and we immigrated to Sweden where we were married. Through the Swedish Jewish Committee we found jobs and an apartment to live in. I worked in a factory and later got a job in a bank. The people in Sweden were very kind and helpful to us.
My husband was a tailor and he became a foreman in a factory that made men’s coats. After a few years we decided to immigrate to the United States because we were missing “Jewish life”. We settled in San Francisco and again met nice people who helped us get jobs. My husband worked at Wilkes Bashford the most exclusive men’s store in San Francisco. Later, I went to Helds Business College and was able to obtain jobs in accounting and payroll.
I was married for forty-two years. I have two wonderful children, a daughter and a son. Five grandchildren and two very young great grandchildren.
Thank G-d I am blessed.
In September 2009, I moved to the Summit where again I met very nice people and made good friends. I am proud to say that on June 13th, 2010 I had my Bat Mitzvah at The Summit along with four other residents. It was a wonderful occasion that I will never forget!
In April 2013 my daughter and I went to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. where we attended the twentieth reunion of Holocaust survivors. My living testimony can be read at this museum.
I have been asked how I have kept such a positive outlook. I have always tried to find the humor in things and I believe that music can make you feel wonderful. I also loved to bake honey cakes and “baker’s cheesecake” and give slices out to neighbors. Now that I can’t bake, I give out candy to my friends and neighbors. Through the years I have tried to keep smiling no matter how hard life gets. I try not to be bitter as I put on my happy face and keep going.
The most important lesson I have learned in life is to be nice to each other, respect each other and help each other.