Judith Rubinstein describes her arrival at Auschwitz
Judith Rubinstein, nee Schwartz, was born in Mezochath, Hungary in 1920. Her father, Elias Schwartz, taught Jewish subjects in the local public school. Her mother, Rose Hofstadter, stayed at home to raise Judith, and her three brothers, Yitzhak, Simon, and Emil.
In 1938, the Hungarian government introduced laws which restricted the daily activities of Jews. During April of 1940, Judith and her family were forced into a Ghetto. They lived in Satoralya-Ujhely for a month, where they witnessed food shortages, an epidemic of disease, and increasingly overpopulated spaces. Judy and her family were in Satoralya-Ujhely until May of 1940, when they were transported to Auschwitz.
Upon arrival to Auschwitz, her family was lined up, five to a row, and separated. On the transport to Auschwitz, her father had explained her the importance of work in order to survive. Within the first couple days she offered to work and was put into a commando called Kanada, where she was sorting through the clothes of individuals who had been killed. She worked in the Kanada commando until 1944, when she was transported to Ravensbrück.
At Ravensbrück she was put into quarantine for three weeks. She was then sent to Malchow, where she worked in a factory. As the war came to an end and the Russians drew closer, the Nazi’s gathered all of the ‘healthy’ prisoners to march. After a couple of days the Nazi’s abandoned the march and Judith and her cousin went to a village to find a place to sleep and eat. The Russians liberated the village a few days later. After liberation Judith went to Czechoslovakia. From Czechoslovakia she went to Italy, where she and her husband lived for 2-3 years, waiting for an opportunity to go to Israel. While they waited, they were offered jobs in Canada as furriers. By this time a war had broken out in Israel. Sick of war and wanting to have a home, Judith and her husband left for Canada and arrived in 1948. She passed away on January, 20th, 2013.
To pacify the people, especially the children, while they were waiting their turns into the gas chamber they played with the animals outside. We saw this and my heart was breaking but we didn’t know…, we couldn’t help anything.
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