Sarah Kreisman

"Future generations should know what we went through."

Name at birth
Sarane Schwartz
Date of birth
Where did you grow up?
Madyar Komyat, Czechoslovakia.
Name of father, occupation
Martin, Farmer.
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Sharlota (Shandel) Blopste, Farmer, Homemaker.
Immediate family (names, birth order)
Parents, Alex, Esther, Blanca, me, Shama, Toba and Helena.
How many in entire extended family?
Large extended family.
Who survived the Holocaust?
Alex, Esther and I.
I lived on a big, beautiful farm with my parents, Martin and Sharlota, and my brothers and sisters, Alex, Esther, Shama, Blanca, Toba and Helena. My family was very religious.  We had a hard but pleasant life living in the country, raising food and animals.  I went to school for eight years, but mostly, I helped on the farm.  We planted potatoes, corn, wheat, sunflowers and green beans.  We had a horse, cow and chickens.

The Nazis did not come to our village until 1944.  We were all aware of what was happening to the Jews in Poland.  Although there was a lot of anti-Semitism in our community, we lived peacefully with our neighbors until 1944.  At that point, the village police came to take my father away to train as a soldier.  The rest of the Jews were liquidated from the town and sent to the ghetto in Mukacevo.

From the ghetto, my entire family was taken away by cattle train to Auschwitz in April, 1944.  I was separated from them and sent to Nyshtat.  I was one of 500 Hungarian women who were selected to work there making bombs and grenades for the Germans.  We were also sent chop down trees in the nearby woods.  We had very little to eat and stayed there for nearly a year.  I was 19 years old.  All but one of the original 500 women survived the war.

Near the end of the war, the Germans took us into the forest and pretended that they were going to kill us.  Instead they just shot their guns into the air.  The British and Americans soon came and liberated us.  We went to nearby homes and begged for food, but did not receive any.  A few days later the British came and took us to a nice villa in Germany, a resting place near the lake.  It had beds, tables, food and a garden.  We received clothing donated from Holland too.  In the autumn of 1944, I returned home to Madyar Komyat.  My family’s house and farm were empty so I moved back in.

A bit later, I met up with my childhood friend Paul (Falek) Kreisman and we married in 1946.  Paul’s family had a farm nearby.  My older brother, Alex, survived and moved to Rochester, New York.  My sister Esther survived and moved to Israel after the war.  My younger brother Shama, was killed during the war in a “Lora” type train.  Blanca, who was sick, died during the war at age 15.  My younger sister Toba and my sister Helena were also along with our mother and father.  I believe they were taken right to the crematoria after arriving in Auschwitz-Birkenau.  I also lost aunts, uncles and many, many first cousins. 
Name of Concentration / Labor Camp(s)
Where did you go after being liberated?
Back to our family farm in Veliki Komiata, Ukraine (after the war).
When did you come to the United States?
Where did you settle?
Detroit, MI.
How is it that you came to Michigan?
My husband, Paul Kreisman, had an uncle here, Dave Kreisman.
Occupation after the war
In the U.S., I was a cook at Borman Hall Nursing Home for 35 years.
When and where were you married?
1946 in Madyar Komyat, the Russians married us.
I married my childhood friend Paul Kreisman., Bookkeeper.
Adella, pharmacist, Vera, hairdresser.
Two: Jean and Kevin.
What do you think helped you to survive?
I was not taken away by the Nazis until nearly the end of the war, so I did not suffer as much as many others.
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
Future generations should know what we went through.

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