Erna Weiss

"Be honest, be good, and believe in G-d. I hope that you have a better life than I did."

Name at birth
Erna Herczeg
Date of birth
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Sago St. Peter, Hungary
Name of father, occupation
Odon Herczeg, Owned a lumber yard, had some land, owned an office building
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Serena Princ, Homemaker and helped in business
Immediate family (names, birth order)
Parents and six children: Ella, Erna, Ignace, Heski, Martha, and Agi Ignace and Heski studied in the Yeshiva, Jewish religious academy
Who survived the Holocaust?
Just me and my sister Martha
My parents died before the war started.  In 1944, we were rounded up and taken to a ghetto in Deoz Gur, Hungary.  From there, the Germans put us in cattle cars and sent us to Auschwitz.  I came to Auschwitz with my three sisters and two brothers.  I was approaching the Selection with my little sister, Agi who was nine years old.  
Even though she was only nine years old, she saw that young children would not survive.  As we got to the front, Agi suddenly ran to the back of the line.  She did this to save my life.  She knew that I would stay with her and I would be killed with her.  I often have a hard time sleeping at night, thinking about her and what she did.
I was at Auschwitz for a short while.  From there they took me to Lichtenau labor camp.  There I worked in a bomb factory loading bombs.  At Lichtenau we sang a song that said everyday I dream that I am going home.  But when I wake up, I realize that I am a prisoner in Lichtenau.
We were liberated by American soldiers.  American planes bombed our barracks, we all ran out, no one was hurt.  
After the war ended, I went back to my hometown.  All the Jews had been killed except for one older woman and me.  I thought that maybe some of my brothers or sisters had survived, only my sister Martha survived. I was planning to go to Israel.  

I met a Jewish man from my hometown at the train station.  He left before the war started and moved to Detroit where he had relatives.  After the war, he came back to see if anyone had survived.  We got to know each other.  Later, we decided to get married.  We had a civil ceremony.  He later sent for me as his bride.  We had a Jewish wedding in Detroit.

Martha who survived. She lived in Toronto after the war, married a survivor, and had three daughters. Martha’s legacy definitely continues through numerous Jewish and religious grandchildren and great grandchildren. 
Name of Ghetto(s)
Name of Concentration / Labor Camp(s)
Where did you settle?
Detroit, Michigan
Occupation after the war
Peter Weiss, Land developer
Susan Hollenberg, Joseph Weiss (deceased), and Sandra Stern. My son Joseph was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver.
Seven: Lisa, Emily, Danielle, Dov, Elisheva, Rabi, Adina and Two great garndchildren
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
Be honest, be good, and believe in G-d. I hope that you have a better life than I did.
Charles Silow
Interview date:

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