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The Story Of A Holocaust Survivor

1743 words - 7 pages

When I was a child, a very close family friend of ours from Israel, Joyce Kleinman (now Wilner), and her sister Reisi Kleinman (now Greenbaum) entered the Auschwitz concentration camp at the ages of 15 and 12 years old. Years later, Joyce’s son Mike Wilner composed an interview that included his mother Joyce and Aunt Reisi outlining the significant events that led to the survival of both sisters and illustrated the events that took place during the Holocaust in which an estimated 6 million Jews were killed.
Joyce began the interview by explaining the pre-war period. Joyce Kleinman was born to a beautiful home in Czechoslovakia on September 12, 1925. Although some discrimination was present, no significantly harmful acts were conducted against the Jewish community. All races could eat wherever they pleased, and all children were schooled together, explained Joyce. The discrimination arose in 1939, when World War II began in Poland. At this time, Joyce was 11 years old and Reisi was 14. Joyce explained how the two girls would often hear sirens outside their windows along with shootings as the war raged on. They would hear planes flying over the roof of their house, and they were not able to open their windows for fresh air because of the terrifying noise. Jews were no longer allowed at school, and all of the Jews were one day required to go down to the police station. Because Joyce and Reisi’s father was a well-respected man within the community, the police let them leave.
As their days were limited in Czechoslovakia, Joyce and her family left all of their belongings and fled to Budapest, where their brother lived and was planning to get married. Joyce explained that the family returned to their hometown in Czechoslovakia as things began to settle down in the year 1941. Joyce made the decision to remain in Budapest as a seamstress in a clothing factory. Joyce claimed that she was the most talented employee among the 200 people working there, and she made 20 shirts in 1 hour. Although she was respected in the factory and the staff loved her, she was not allowed to leave Budapest and visit her family. During this period, around 1944, the Jewish people started becoming labeled. All of the women were required to wear armbands adorned with Jewish stars, while the men wore yellow armbands. Not only was Joyce not allowed to travel, but also she was also no longer getting paid for her work. The once wonderful factory that Joyce once worked in became a prison, with soldiers watching the workers that would shoot anyone who tried to escape. Joyce entered survival mode and thought of how she might visit her boyfriend, who lived across the street from the Red Cross. At the time, soldiers surrounded the building, which made it near impossible for a Jewish woman to enter the premises without being shot. Joyce disguised herself by taking off her stars and began walking toward the apartment complex. Joyce considered turning back as she was approached the...

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