Bettina Graf, Holocaust Survivor: Bettina's presentation will cover her life under the Nazi occupation in Vienna, Austria and Kristallnacht, as well as her experience during the "blitz" (intensive Nazi bombing) in London, and being on a ship, which was torpedoed by the Nazis but to which her family survived and her arrival to the United States.
Peter Somogyi, Holocaust Survivor: In April 1944, he was placed in a ghetto in Hungary where he stayed for two months. On July 9, 1944, he was deported to Auschwitz with his mother, sister, and twin brother Thomas. When they arrived at Auschwitz, Dr. Josef Mengele chose twins from the prisoner's selection lines for use in his research. In May 1949, Mr. Somogyi and his brother moved to Israel. He lived in Israel, then spent two years in England, a decade in Canada and is now in NY.
Lola Margulies, Holocaust Survivor: She was 11 years old when the German army invaded Poland after declaring war on Russia in 1941. She was then interned in a ghetto. After the Ghetto was liquidated in 1943, she spent a few weeks in a labor camp but she escaped to the woods where she and her immediate family were hidden ten feet underground in a bunker for nine months until liberation in 1944. She moved to the US in 1947.
Ed Lessing, Holocaust Survivor: Mr. Lessing's presentation covers life in Holland after the occupation, his experience in several hiding places, as a resistance fighter living in the forest and life in Holland after liberation. Mr. Lessing has lectured on TV and Radio in the US and Holland, has been interviewed for the Spielberg Shoah Foundation and writes for the Hidden Child Foundation.
Clara Knopfler, Holocaust Survivor: Was born in Romania, Transylvania and later lived in Hungary. In 1944, she was taken to a ghetto and subsequently transported to Auschwitz, then Riga concentration camp and later to two labor camps in East Prussia. After a long "Death March" she was liberated in January 1945., but she had to endure a 3-month long walk back to Romania because there was no transportation. In 1962 she immigrated to France and finally to the United States.
Jay Sommer, Holocaust Survivor: 14 years old when forced into a Nazi labor camp from which he escaped just before he was to be shipped to Auschwitz. He was in the involuntary service in the Soviet Army, which along with other experiences, he describes in his book "Journey Through the Golden Door". He came to the United States in 1948 and became a teacher and National Teacher of the Year in 1981-82. He was invited to serve on President Reagan's National Commission on Excellence in Education
Arlette Baker, Holocaust Survivor: Arlette was born and raised in Paris, France. In December 1942, she and her parents were arrested in their apartment by two French Nazis however, her father was able to bribe the officials and they let her go. Her parents died in Auschwitz in February 1943. Arlette came to America, got married and obtained graduate degrees from NYU. She is active in her temple, in Social Action and Caring Community Committees and Holocaust Remembrance organizations and…
Esther Geizhals, Holocaust Survivor: Born in Lodz Poland in 1929, she and her family were moved to the Lodz ghetto until 1944. Then she was transported to Auschwitz...then to Bergen Belsen, and on to Rochlitze concentration camp. She was able to escape during a death march and then hide in a village nearby until Russian forces liberated them. She then, smuggled her way from Poland to the American zone in Germany and lived in displaced persons camp until 1947 when she came to the US.
Judy Altmann, Holocaust Survivor - She was arrested and transported to Auschwitz concentration camp with her niece in 1944, where they were selected for work. From there she was sent to Essen and Gelsenkirchen Labour camps where she remained until March 1945. She survived the "death march" that ended in the Bergen Belsen concentration camp, and was liberated in 1945 by the British Army.
Jose Coltof, Holocaust Survivor: She lived with her father and mother in Amsterdam. Her mother and she went into hiding; her father was murdered at Auschwitz. At 4 months old, her mother gave her to strangers for safekeeping where she was raised by a devout Protestant family who loved her dearly. At age 3, her mother returned from hiding and retrieved her. Jose always loved her foster family and stayed in touch with them until they died at an elderly age.