Barbara Marton {Grandmother of Liana Mitman}

nanaWritten by Liana Mitman, in the voice of her grandmother Barbara, a Holocaust survivor:
“One morning in March of 1944, armed German soldiers invaded my town of Oradea, Romania. Before I heard any screams of fright, I could sense the terror brooding in the streets. My father’s grocery store was closed, and not a face could be seen outside. One night, my whole neighborhood was rounded up and forced into trains. We were like cattle, being deported to what I would later know to be Auschwitz. On that cramped, putrid train car, all I could think of was one blazing fact. My parents had moved from the town of Beliu to Oradea, just so I could receive a better education. If we had not moved, we never would have been deported. The sentiment of guilt seethed through my mind. As I arrived to the appalling camp, I could smell the rotten stench of dead bodies. As we waited in line, I clung to my mother’s soft hand, and my father’s wool jacket. His scent always calmed me. But this time, nothing could ease my fright. A Nazi named Mendele eyed me up and down. I was only twenty year olds- strong and healthy. I felt a rough hand push me to the left side, while my parents were ushered to the right. My eyes welled up, and my eyes met my mother’s for the last time.  The time came when I heard the wonderful sound of helicopters above. “I am almost free!” I thought. It had been a full year, and the Swedish Red Cross liberated us. Mixed with my feeling of utter glee was a sentiment of solitude. I knew in my gut that my family was obliterated by those awful Nazis. I did not know where I would go, or whom I could find. I returned to Romania, and attempted to start over.”

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