Ella Berman

"It can happen again. We never thought it could happen in Europe. Try not to let it happen again."

Name at birth
Ella Marton
Date of birth
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Negrest, Romania
Name of father, occupation
Hershel, Carpenter and furniture maker
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Cecelia Braun, Homemaker
Immediate family (names, birth order)
Parents, Ella, Esther, Isaac
How many in entire extended family?
Large extended family
Who survived the Holocaust?
Me, my sister Esther, my father's brother and three cousins'
In 1944 my mother, father, 12 year old brother Isaac, my sister Esther, and I were all taken to Auschwitz from the ghetto.  My sister and I survived the selection at Auschwitz and were taken to forced labor camps.  My sister and I were together throughout.
Name of Ghetto(s)
Name of Concentration / Labor Camp(s)
Where did you settle?
We came to Buffalo, New York.
Occupation after the war
When and where were you married?
1946 in Austria
Ludwig Berman, Factory worker, then insurance salesman
Harvey, Sidney, and Sherry
What do you think helped you to survive?
I remember at Auschwitz, being in a line, I was very skinny. They were going to put me on a wagon to gas me. The Jewish overseer of my barracks got me off the wagon and saved my life. When I was in the concentration camps, I kept thinking, wait till I get home, I’ll tell everybody about all the terrible things I went through. When I got home, nobody was there. When I got to America, nobody wanted to know. After the war, you tried not to think about it, but it’s always there. When we first came to America, some people thought we did something bad to deserve the Holocaust, that it was coming to us, we were a pariah. We didn’t speak good English, we were “greeners,” newcomers, and some people thought we were dumb; I tried to rise above this.
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
It can happen again. We never thought it could happen in Europe. Try not to let it happen again.
Charles Silow
Interview date:

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