Fay Rotberg

"Families should cherish one another. There is nothing more important than family."

Name at birth
Fayge Yita Gutman
Date of birth
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Brody, Poland
Name of father, occupation
Shmeel, Rabbi and Schochet (Butcher)
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Rifka Ruchelle Zachinska
Immediate family (names, birth order)
Grandmother Rosa, parents, me, Fayge Yita, Kalman, Hanna Paru, Hinda Mala, Hersh Nuta and Yitzak Yosef
How many in entire extended family?
Who survived the Holocaust?
Brother Kalman, Fayge Yita and me
I was born in Brody, Poland, in 1921. I was the oldest of six children in the family.  Only my brother Kalman and I survived the Holocaust.
My brother Yitzak Yosef died before the war when he was 7 years old. My brother Hersh Nuta, 7 years old, died after a Selection.  Our mother went with him on the train.  He was afraid to go alone.  She did not have to go but chose to go.  She told me, I was 18 at the time, that I was old enough to take care of myself, but Hersh Nuta was just a little boy.  My sister Hinda Mala, 15 years old, was killed in Starochowice trying to escape. My sister Hanna Paru, 16 years old, along with 120 other beautiful young women, was picked during a Selection while in the Starochowice ghetto.  Each of these young girls helped to dig a large hole which ended up serving as her own grave after she was shot in the back. My brother Kalman (17 years old) and grandma Rosa went on the same train with my mother, Rifka Ruchelle. However, my brother Kalman survived.
From 1939-1944, I was taken to Starochowice, Poland, where I worked in forced labor camp.  There I worked the kitchen detail and also worked in a factory where I made ammunitions. In 1944, I was taken to Auschwitz where I lived for one year.  After that I was taken to Evenszem, Austria.  The Americans liberated this camp on May 8, 1945.  
Afterwards, I lived in a Displaced Persons camp in Germany.  There I met my husband Samuel.  In 1946, we married while in the DP camp and then moved to Paris, France, where our son Lucien Simon was born in 1947.  Next, we moved to Detroit, MI where our daughter Betty Rae was born in 1948.                                    
Name of Ghetto(s)
What DP Camp were you after the war?
Yes, in Germany
When did you come to the United States?
Where did you settle?
Detroit, Michigan
Occupation after the war
Seamstress and Homemaker
When and where were you married?
1946 in DP camp
Samuel Rotberg, Owned a Liquor Store
Lucien Simon Rotberg, in retail; Betty Rae Rotberg Ellias, retired high school English teacher
Amy Rotberg Spasoff, Jeffrey Rotberg, Charles Ellias Great grandchildren Samantha and Jacob Spasoff; Talya and Ammi Rotberg; Sydnie and Zoe Ellias
What do you think helped you to survive?
Hard, hard work
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
Families should cherish one another. There is nothing more important than family.
Charles Silow
Interview date:

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