— Back to index —

Susan Greening

Susan Greening describes her arrival at Ravensbrück Concentration Camp

Susan Greening (nee Ostrzega) was born on May 12th, 1927, in Warsaw, Poland. Her mother passed away when she was two years old, and she was therefore raised by her grandmother in Szydlowiec. Her father was Harry Ostrzega who worked as a sculptor. She had one older brother, Abram, and one younger brother, Jonathan. Susan was raised in a religious home and attended both a Polish public school and a Hebrew school. She remembers her childhood as being very carefree. 

When World War Two broke out in 1939, she was living in Warsaw with her family. The city was under heavy bombardment for three weeks. The family often hid in the stairwell of their apartment so that they could make a quick getaway if necessary. After three weeks of bombardment, Poland capitulated. With the Germans in charge, the persecution and violence against Jews began.  

The situation in Poland continued to get worse. To avoid deportations, Susan’s family hid in an attic. After some time the family fled from Warsaw to Szydlowiec only to discover that the situation there was the exact same. Susan was selected for labour in an ammunition factory in Skarzysko.  

In 1944 she was moved to another ammunition factory in Czestochowa. At this factory, she was assigned to oversee female workers. 

Near the end of the war, Susan was transferred to the death camp Ravensbrück. She stayed at this camp for a short while before being transferred again. This time to a branch of Dachau called Burgal.  After a couple of days, Susan and other prisoners were walked to the main part of Dachau. During this transfer Susan decided to escape and ran into the forest. While running, she heard the American liberator’s cannons.  

Susan arrived in Canada in 1952. 


Susan Greening

Evil is evil and knows no boundaries