INTRODUCTION by David Notowitz for Voices of the Shoah,

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TEXT TRANSCRIPTS of all audio on set
BIOGRAPHIES of all speakers
TIMELINE of the Holocaust
GLOSSARY of Holocaust related terms


Born 1932, Prague, Czechoslovakia
This speaker requested anonymity to preserve her privacy.

Shlomo (Saul) Berger
Born October 28, 1919, in Krosno, near Krakow, Poland
Berger worked in his father’s tailor shop until he escaped the oncoming German front and joined the partisans. He married Gusta (Gertrude) Griedman in Romania prior to coming to America in 1950. He found work in the U.S. as a factory worker and is now retired. The Bergers have two children and four grandchildren.

Fela Bernstein
Born 1927, Lodz, Poland
Bernstein lived in the Lodz ghetto before she was sent to the Ravensbrück and Auschwitz camps. Via Dachau, she was sent to Ravensbrück again, then Millhausen and Bergen-Belsen. She moved to England in 1948, where she married and had two children.

Edith Birkin
Born 1927, Prague, Czechoslovakia
Birkin also lived in the Lodz ghetto before being deported to Auschwitz in 1944. She was sent to a work camp and munitions factory; in 1945 she was sent on the death march to Flossenbürg camp, then to Bergen-Belsen. She arrived in England in 1946, where she married and later adopted three children.

Renate Collins
Born 1933, Prague, Czechoslovakia
Sent by train and boat on the Kindertransport to Wales in 1939, Collins was officially adopted by another family at age 14 after of the deaths of her parents had been confirmed. She married and has two sons.

Abe Cheslow
Born August 27, 1924, Brooklyn, New York
In 1942 Cheslow, the son of a kosher butcher, was inducted into the U.S. Army; two years later he arrived in Europe, serving in Holland, Belgium, and southern Germany. On April 29, 1945, he was with the first tank group to enter and liberate Dachau. Upon his return from the war in 1945, he married Anne Robbins, with whom he had two children and two grandchildren. He has been a docent at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust and devotes time to telling school groups about his experience as a liberator.

Lily Fischl
Born 1898, Vienna, Austria
In 1939 Fischl and her husband sent their two children to England. In 1942 she was deported to the Theresienstadt camp, where her husband died two years later. After surviving the Auschwitz, Oederan, and Theresienstadt camps, Fischl arrived in England in 1946, where she was reunited with her children.

Ruth Foster
Born 1922, Lingen an der Ems, Germany
Deported to the Riga ghetto in 1941, Foster was sent by ship to Gdansk in 1944, then to the Stutthof camp. She survived forced labor in Sotienwalde as well as the death march to Chinow. She subsequently moved to England, where she married. She has a child and two grandchildren.

Rose Groves
Born 1926, Bekescsaba, Hungary
Groves’ family moved to Romania in 1927. Following Hungarian occupation in 1940, the family was taken into slave labor. Groves then lived in a ghetto during the German occupation before being sent to the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps and then to Hornburg (a munitions factory), and the Porta Westphalia, Luneberg, and Saltswedel camps. After liberation in 1945, she moved to England, where she married and has two children and six grandchildren.

Siegfried (Siggy) Halbreich
Born November 13, 1909, in Dziedzitz, Silesia, Austria
Halbreich studied pharmacy before serving in the Polish Army. He was active in Zionist activities, particularly the Akiba organization. He survived six concentration camps before being liberated from Dora-Mittelbau by American soldiers on April 13, 1945. His sister also survived and emigrated to Palestine. He now shares his memories of the Holocaust with college audiences and with individual students of all ages. He has two children and two grandchildren.

Eugene Heimler
Born 1922, Szombathely, Hungary
Heimler lived in the ghetto before his deportation first to Auschwitz, then to the Buchenwald and Troglitz camps, then back to Buchenwald. During the death march to the Czechoslovakia border, he escaped and was taken to the partisans fighting the Nazis. He moved to England in 1947. He has two children and one grandchild.

Jack Kagan
Born 1929, Novogrodek, Vilna, Lithuania
Kagan lived in the Novogrodek ghetto, which was liberated by the Soviets. In 1945 he was sent to a displaced persons camp in Poland. He is married with three children.

Cesia Kingston
Born January 12, 1926, Lodz, Poland
Two of her four siblings, Nadzia and Abram, survived the war; Salek and Hadassah, born in the ghetto, did not. Kingston was sent to Auschwitz, after which she was sent to Stutthof. After surviving a forced march to Danzig/Gdynia, she was liberated by the Soviets. She returned to Lodz after the war, where she met and married her husband, Morrie. They made their way to Germany and then to the U.S. She is an active member of the survivor community in Los Angeles and is the founder and past president of the Lodzer Organization.

Abraham Klausner
Born April 22, 1915, United States
Klausner graduated from the University of Denver and Hebrew Union College, from which he received rabbinic ordination in 1943. He was inducted into the army in June of the following year. Klausner played an extremely important role after liberation in establishing services to help the Jewish survivors start new lives. He was also instrumental in bringing their problems to the attention of American Jews and the government. He served congregations in Boston and Yonkers, New York, for many years. He is married and has two children, and he now lives in New Mexico with his wife.

Trude Levi
Born 1924, Szombathely, Hungary
After living in the ghetto, Levi was taken to Sarvar, then to the Auschwitz/Birkenau camp and the Hessich-Lichtenau/Buchenwald camp. After surviving the death march to Riesa, she was liberated in 1945. She lived in France for many years, before moving to England in 1957. Levi is married with children.

Sonia Meyers (Also Idelson)
Born December 6, 1921, Kovno, Lithuania
Before the war, Meyers’ father was a rabbi, while her mother ran a textile goods and clothing business. Meyers married when she was 19 years old, while still a university student. Invading Nazis killed her new husband and sister, Chaya. Her parents and brother survived war in Siberia. Meyers survived the ghetto, Lithuanian work camps, Stutthof, and other smaller work camps. She was liberated on January 23, 1945, by the Soviet Army. After remarrying in Germany, she arrived in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1949, where her son and daughter were born. After her second husband died, she and her children moved to Los Angeles. Now widowed from her third husband, she has two grandsons and loves to folk dance.

Lawrence Mori
Born March 8, 1918, in Los Angeles
A first-generation Japanese-American, Mori was drafted in 1941, while his family members were held in an internment camp. After serving in Europe—and witnessing the horrors near Dachau—he returned to the U.S. and reunited with his recently released family members. He is now married with one child.

John Rauch
Born October 23, 1930, in Vienna, Austria
Rauch escaped with his mother and siblings to New York before World War II began. His father, who was trapped in Europe, survived, joining his family in the U.S. after the war. Rauch moved to Los Angeles in 1941, where he studied law at the University of Southern California. He is married with two children and six grandchildren. Now a real estate and corporate planning consultant, he is also the current president and director of Los Angeles’ Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity, an organization he founded with his wife, Ruth.

Vera Schaufeld
Born 1930, Klatovy, Bohemia, Czechoslovakia
Schaufeld was one of the children rescued during the Kindertransport to England in 1939. After living with a foster family in Bury Saint Edmunds, she moved to a kibbutz in Israel in 1951. She married a concentration camp survivor and had two daughters. She returned to England in 1954.

Gary Schiller
Born on March 20, 1959, in Los Angeles, California
Schiller is the son of survivors Liesa and Frank Schiller, from Vienna and Prague respectively. He works at the University of California, Los Angeles, as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in Hematology and Oncology. He is active in his synagogue and president of Second Generation, an organization of sons and daughters of Jewish Holocaust survivors dedicated to remembering the victims and to keeping the images and the lessons of the Shoah alive for the Jewish community and all Americans.

Dana Schwartz
Born January 30, 1935, in Lvov, Ukraine
Schwartz survived the war in ghettos and various other locations in Poland. After liberation, she moved to Sweden, eventually coming to the United States in 1949, where she is married and has three sons. A psychotherapist in private practice, she works as a school therapist and devotes considerable time to Survivors of the Shoah Foundation.

Ilse Sinclair
Born 1921, Hamburg, Germany
In 1938 Sinclair was sent to Middlesex, England, on the Kindertransport. Her parents escaped to Shanghai three years later. She is married with three children.

Barbara Stimler
Born 1927, Alexandrow, Poland
Stimler is a survivor of a camp in Kutno, the Lodz/ Litzmannstadt ghetto, the Auschwitz camp, a work camp at Pirshkow, and the death march to Odra, which was liberated by Soviet troops. She is now married with two children.

Fred Yasukochi
Born 1920 in Garden Grove, California
A first-generation Japanese-American, Yasukochi was drafted into the army in 1941 and served in Europe, where he helped liberate the death camp at Dachau. After the war, he moved to Los Angeles. He has five children and nine grandchildren.

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