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Survivor Stories


Gloria was born in 1930 in Nagy Bereg, Czechoslovakia. On the last day of Passover in 1944, Gloria and her family were rounded up and brought to a brick factory which served as a ghetto. Three weeks later, they were deported to Auschwitz. In an astonishing escape, Gloria was able to jump off a truck which would have carried her to her death in the gas chamber. Subsequently, she was transferred to six additional camps, and was finally rescued by the Swedish Red Cross.

Gloria was an active Holocaust educator, the subject of a documentary film, and wrote a book about her life, Mommy, What’s That Number On Your Arm?.

Excerpt from Video Testimony

Gloria talks about her memories of being rescued and liberated at the end of the war.

Video Transcript

We were sealed in the boxcars. We heard the Germans coming, going back and forth. They were deciding how to get us out of the cattle cars for the execution. We were all going to be murdered here out in the open space. At that point all sorts of reaction set in. Some women sobbed, other became delirious and still others fell into deep apathy. I remember thinking to myself, “My God, I have lived this long and now it will end like this.” The next thing I remember was when I was hearing voices. I heard, “You are lucky, you are going to be free. I have to go back and face the consequences.” In German. And I heard voices like, “You are going through the Danish countryside. And pretty soon we will be in Copenhagen.” I thought, “Oh, God, I must be hallucinating. I am hearing all these beautiful things. What’s happening?” And when I opened my eyes I was not in the same cattle car that we were traveling in. I was in a real train, on a passenger train and I was told we were traveling through the Danish countryside and we were being freed and we are free, and we will be in Copenhagen soon. I just couldn´t believe it. “Could it be true after all this? Just so suddenly like that?”