Testimonies

Eyewitnesses to History

Holocaust survivors in New York City and Long Island recall memories from 1938 to 1944, which include mass arrests, deportations, concentration camp life, and liberation by the Allied forces.

Image of Arnold Newfield, Holocaust survivor

Testimony: Arnold Newfield

Holocaust survivor Arnold Newfield, born in the Westerbork, Holland transit camp during World War II, recalls his family’s experiences in various concentration camps, their liberation, and eventual immigration to the United States.​ Click here to watch.

Image of Anita Weisbord, Holocaust survivor

Testimony: Anita Weisbord

Anita Weisbord, a Holocaust survivor, shares her experiences growing up in a Jewish family in pre-war Austria, her recollection of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, her experience being deported to England during the Kindertransport, and her immigration to America. Click here to watch.

Image of Kate Haberman, Holocaust survivor

Testimony: Kate Haberman

Kate Haberman, a Holocaust survivor, provides a detailed testimony of life in pre-war Hungary (present-day Romania), her family’s deportation to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, her brutal interactions with Nazi SS guards–including Dr. Josef Mengele–and surviving the Holocaust. Click here to watch.

Image of Hanne Leibmann, Holocaust survivor

Testimony: Hanne Leibmann

Hanne Liebmann, born in Karlsruhe, Germany, describes pre-war antisemitism, her family’s deportation to Gurs concentration camp in southern France, the refuge she was provided by community of Protestant pacificts in Le Chambon, France, her escape into Switzerland, and reflections about modern authoritarianism versus that of Nazi Germany. Click to here to watch.

Image of Renée Kahn Silver, Holocaust survivor

Testimony: Renée Kann Silver

Renée Kann Silver, a Holocaust survivor who was born in the German state of Saarland in 1931, recalls her experiences living as a Jewish child among the culture of German Nazism and French patriotism. Eventually her family was deported to the Gurs concentration camp in southern France, where her mother made the decision to send Renée and her sister to hide in the Protestant community of Le Chambon. She also describes her family’s reunion and escape to Switzerland. Click here to watch.

Image of David Widawsky, second generation Holocaust survivor

Testimony: David Widawsky

David Widawsky, a 2nd generation Holocaust survivor born in the Landsberg Displaced Persons camp in Germany, discusses his father’s experience in the Łódź, Poland Ghetto, his deportations to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in Nazi-occupied Poland and the Kaufering concentration camp complex in Germany, as well as the death march his father endured. David also shares his own experiences, thoughts, and reflections as the son of a Holocaust survivor. Click here to watch.

Image of Kurt Goldschmidt, Holocaust survivor

Testimony: Kurt Goldschmidt

Kurt Goldschmidt, a Holocaust survivor from Hamburg, Germany, discusses his experiences in as a teenager who was half-Jewish during the war. His memories include interactions with the Gestapo, his deportation to the Theresienstadt ghetto in the former Czechoslovakia, as well as reflections on lessons that can be learned from the Holocaust. Click here to watch.

Image of George Schiffman, Holocaust survivor

Testimony: George Schiffman

George Schiffman, a Holocaust survivor, was born in the former Czechoslovakia in 1926 to a family of bakers. The oldest of his siblings, George describes an easy childhood before being deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in Nazi-occupied Poland at the age of 17, where he was a forced laborer and taken on a death march before his liberation. After staying in a Displaced Persons camp for some time, he immigrated to the United States on his own in 1947. Click here to watch.

Image of Gabor and Judith Gross, Holocaust survivors

Testimony: Judith & Gabor Gross

Although both born in Hungary in 1943 and 1935 respectively, Holocaust survivors Judy and Gabor Gross share very different stories of survival. At the young age of eight years old, Gabor was a forced laborer in Austria, before being deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in Nazi-occupied Poland and later the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany with his mother and brother. Judy was an infant when her family hid in one of the safehouses set up in Budapest by Swedish diplomat, Raul Wallenberg. The two reflect on their memories and the impact of Holocaust education. Video forthcoming.

Image of Manford and Gerd Korman, Holocaust survivors

Testimony: Manfred & Gerd Korman

Brothers Gerd and Manfred Korman, Holocaust survivors, describe their family’s deportation from Germany, their last-minute rescue on the Kindertransport, and the fate of their parents who had completely different experiences during the war. Click here to watch.

Image of Rosette Teitel, Holocaust survivor

Testimony: Rosette

Rosette, a Holocaust survivor, was born in France, and hidden by Catholic farmers while her mother was a part of the French Underground. Unaware of her Jewish heritage until she was older, she discusses her struggle with her identity, her mother’s resistance experience, and life during wartime. Click here to watch.

Image of Ellen Bottner, Holocaust survivor

Testimony: Ellen Bottner

Ellen Bottner, a Holocaust survivor, grew up in Germany under the Third Reich. She describes her experiences on the Kindertransport, life under refuge with a foster family in England, the fate of her extended family during the Holocaust, and reflections about intolerance in the world today.  Click here to watch.

Image of Felice Katz, second generation Holocaust survivor

Testimony: Felice Katz

Felice Katz, a 2nd generation Holocaust survivor, talks about her mother Ethel who was the sole survivor of her family of six. Born in Buczacz, Poland (present-day Ukraine), her family went into hiding after Nazi occupation. After they were gunned down, Ethel survived for months without food or water by hiding in a crawlspace in her family’s home. Click here to watch.

Image of shop damaged during Kristallnacht. Photo credits: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park

The Holocaust Unfolds

As the Nazis rose to power in Europe, Jewish life was severely impacted. Survivors Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld, Hanne Liebmann, Hannah Horon, Ethel Katz, Hannah Deutsch, Cynthia Zalisky, Steve Berger, and Eddie Weinstein describe the moments when they began to feel terrorized. Click here to watch.

Above image: Shop damaged during Kristallnacht. Photo credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park

Image of American soldiers march into Buchenwald upon liberation of the camp. Photo credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Virginia Longest

Liberation

Life did not seamlessly return to normal following liberation. Survivors Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld, Hannah Horon, Ethel Katz, Hannah Deutsch, Cynthia Zalisky, Steve Berger, and Hanne Liebmann realized the total extent of Nazi brutality, struggled to live within hometowns that were still antisemitic, and face a world that ignored the truths of the Holocaust. Click here to watch.

Above image: American soldiers march into Buchenwald upon the liberation of the camp. Photo credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Virginia Longest

Image of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, Germany, 2017

Remembering

In order for future generations to understand the impacts of hatred seen at its pinnacle during the Holocaust, survivors Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld, Cynthia Zalisky, Ethel Katz, Hannah Deutsch, Steve Berger, and Hanne Liebmann ask others to pass on their stories and respect all cultures to emphasize the message of “Never Again.” Click here to watch.

Above image: Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, Germany, 2017. Photo credit: L. Cohen