Mechier Zalman perished in a Hungarian labor camp. He was very religious and refused to eat non-kosher food. Ephraim, survived the labor camp and later went to Israel. Meir Yosef, survived in Budapest with Christian papers and later went to Israel. He died as an Israeli soldier. Chaya Sara also perished in Auschwitz with our brother.
We arrived at Auschwitz on cattle cars. I remember my little brother, Hersh Lieb, (11 years old) telling us that a person over there, a Polish Jew, told him to say that he was 17 years old. We had no idea what he meant. As we stood in line, with my father, we were holding each other until they separated us. They sent my father and my brother to one side and me to the other.
The next morning, a Polish Jew said to me, “You see those chimneys? That’s your parents and your family. They’ve gone up in smoke; they’ve been murdered in the gas chambers and burned in the crematorium. You can say Kaddish (Hebrew memorial prayer) for them. You’re young, maybe 15, maybe you’ll survive. If you do, don’t forget to tell the world what they’ve done to us.”
After liberation, I became sick with Flecktyphus (typhus). I was taken to Feldefing DP camp then later to a children’s camp. I received papers to go to the United States. The JDC arranged for me to go to New York to Ellis Island. A woman waiting for me arranged for me to go to Minneapolis, Minnesota. I was placed with a Jewish family there at “2622 Plymouth Ave North, Minneapolis,” my first home in the wonderful United States. I was 19 years old and all by myself. I stayed there for a year.
Friends from the DP camp were in Detroit and I came to Detroit in 1950. My two older brothers were going to go to Israel. I didn’t want to go; the British were taking Jews to Cyprus and putting them behind barbed wire. It reminded me of Auschwitz and the other camps.