My mother, Malka Brandsdorfer, lived in a small Polish town near the German border. At the start of World War II she was married and had a young daughter. During the war her married name was Goldratt. She recorded her recollections of the Holocaust. The conditions in the town. Her family's struggle and the ghetto and camps she lived through. She tells of how many of her family died and how only she and one sister survived. Her recollections are told in Yiddish. There is a written version of my mother's story in English that can be downloaded at the website.
My mother begins her recollection of the Shoah with a conversation she had with a friend and fellow survivor.
Leaving Poland for good, my mother travels looking for surviving family and friends. She finds very few, learns of the fate of many of them. Settling in a displaced persons camp in Wesbaden Germany, she meets my father and starts a new family before moving to America.
Returning home after the war. My mother travels on foot and by train through war torn Germany and Poland. She finds other survivors, among them her younger sister Fay. Her homecoming is bitter sweet with the realization of how few survived and the hostile greeting the returning Jews received from the Polish townspeople.
The labor camp at Neustadt is unexpectedly liberated when the German guards abandon the labor camp. The Germans move west to excape the advancing Russian army.
My mother spent the last few months of the war in the labor camp at Neustadt, which is near Hamburg.
With the Russian army nearing Auschwitz in January 1945, the Germans evacuate the camp and force march the prisoners to the concentration camp at Gross Rosen. Known as the Death March, it lasted many days with the prisoners walking through the bitter cold and heavy snow. Many did not survive, as the German guards killed any who stopped walking.
This is Amazing
I am just amazed to hear a survivor in Yiddish. There is something soothing to me about hearing the survivor speak in her native language. It's much more powerful than some of English or Hebrew accounts.
Amazing story, amazing woman
I read her son's English translation of these recordings, available for free download as a PDF file. I could not stop reading until I finished the whole thing. This woman is an amazing survivor of the Holocaust. She was smart and tough and aware also of her incredible luck. So many times she barely escaped death. She took so many brave risks. I don't speak Yiddish but listened to some of the podcasts just to hear her voice telling her story. I'm so grateful she was willing to share it and her son encouraged her and recorded it. This story needs and deserves to be heard.
Me too is enough. Would love to hear the story.