The life of IRENE (BLÁSZ) CSILLAG

  • Birth of Irene (BLÁSZ) Csillag

    Birth of Irene (BLÁSZ) Csillag
    Irene Csillag was born in 1925 in Satu Mare, Romania (or now Szatmar, Hungarian) to a Hungarian father and Romanian mother. She was one of 2 girls (Olga and herself) and lived in Satu Mare in a large jewish community.
  • Occupation of her home

    Occupation of her home
    At the time Irene was a child Romania was occupied by Hungary and the area became very unstable. It worsened in 1944 when the germans occupied Hungary. The Germans put the Jewish communtiy under strict rule and moved all Jewish people to a ghetto camp within Satu Mare and forced them to wear the yellow star.
  • Deportation: Leaving home.

    Deportation: Leaving home.
    In the month of May, 1944 Irene and her family were deported from her home. They had to leave everything and everyone they had ever known. Her family was told they were being sent to Debrecen, a large Hungarian city and her family. along with many other Jews were packed into a train car and sent on their way. They traveled for 3 to 4 days with no bathroom, or sanitary areas; no places to sit or sleep and no food or water. Finally they arrived to Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • Arriving to Auschwitz-Dinuean

    Arriving to Auschwitz-Dinuean
    When arriving to Auschwitz, Irene, Olga, and her mother were sent to the right while her aunts, cousins, and grandparents were sent to the left. She later learns they were exectued. She was brought into a large hall where some men and women shaved off their hair and ordered them to undress and were showered. They were given a grey rag to wear and sent to camp C where her sister, mother, and herself slept on a 3 tiered bunk bed.
  • Zählappell

    Zählappell
    Twice a day Irene had to go to "Zählappell" or roll call. At one of the roll calls she witnessed a woman give birth to a premature baby. The baby died immediately due to the conditions it was under and was buried all as the roll call was going on. At another Zählappell the Jews were being tatooed their numbers on their arms. Before it was her turn the tatooing was cancelled and Irene did not have to undergo the tatoo but instead selection.
  • Selection

    Selection
    Irene and her family were very lucky during their selection. I quote "I was very much afraid that we would be separated from our mother. I gathered up all my courage and went up to a man doing the selection, who turned out to be Victor Capesius. I told him, in Romanian that my mother is 46, still young and in very good condition and we would like it if he'd let us stay together. He must have felt good at that moment because he said "all right."
  • Another Concentration Camp

    Another Concentration Camp
    Irene and her family are sent to another camp. Stutthof. The camp was surrounded by electrified barb wire. It was smaller than Auschwitzch but over the course of the Holocaust it held ten to thousands of people. Under harsh conditions 60,000 people died in this camp.
  • Life at Stuttof

    Holocaust survivor Steven Springfield states; "The conditions in Stutthof were beyond any description. People were dying left and right from hunger. People woke up in the morning, next to you people were dead, emaciated. And the condition was deteriorating by the day because the tide of the war had turned and as bad as it was before, now the Germans were letting their anger out on the few remaining Jews because they were...they were...it was clear to them by this time they were losing the war."
  • More movement

    More movement
    A few months at living in Stutthof Irene's mother passed away from being ill leaving Irene and her sister to defend each other. In late march of 1946 Irene was taken by cattle car to work at a camp in Danzig. Although the conditions were better they still struggled to survive. Irene did not work at the camp in Danzig and the war between the Americans and Russians to the Nazis and Germans were coming to a close. With the war ending Irene and her sister arrived to the sea and were borded on a ship
  • Life getting better

    Life getting better
    After a long time at sea Irene and Olga arrive to a shoreline. They walk some miles and arrive at a soccer field with officers in jeeps throwing cigaretts and chocolate at them. The officers were British soldiers.They later find out they are in Neustadt. She and her sister were given a nice room and school to attend.
  • Family reunited

    Family reunited
    After life in Neustadt had settled Irene decided she wanted to go back home to visit her family. She traveled by train to Satu Mare back home and found an uncle, her mother's brother, who was a World War I hero and exempt from deportation. She found her house and some belongings of her mother but disappointed had to return back to be with her sister and some other girls to Germany; in Neustadt, Holstein
  • Dreams of America

    Dreams of America
    Irene and Olga had a aunt in Philadelphia, United States and kept in touch with her for the opportunity to come to America.
  • 4 zones

    4 zones
    Germany was divided into for Jews to be able to emigrate to the U.S. The girls moved to Einring that was in the American Zone. In Einring Irene met a man named Ede who later became her husband. In April of 1957 Irene birthed a son named Brit Milah where they ended up in Waldheim, Austria, and stayed for a while.
  • A New Beginning

    A New Beginning
    The revolution came in 1956, and brought new emerging, antisemitism in Hungary which made Irene decide to emigrate her family to a new location. They hid and slippedd across the Austrian border and arrived in Canada on Janurary 10th, 1957. She leaves us with her children and grandchidren and is part of the holocaust survivors registry in the Behind Every Name a Story (BENAS) project.