My Journey Through the Holocaust - Inge Auerbacher

Timeline created by Abragg
  • My Birth

    My Birth
    I was born in Kippenheim, Germany on December 31st, 1934. I was the last Jewish child born in my village. I am the only child to my parents, Regina Auerbacher and Berthold Auerbacher. My family lived in a large home with 17 rooms and servants. My father was a textile merchant. This is a picture of where I was born.
  • The Night of Broken Glass

    The Night of Broken Glass
    On the night of broken glass, just before I was four, people came and threw rocks at our windows. All of our windows were broken. That same day, police came and arrested both my father and grandfather. The police sent them both to a concentration camp. My mother, grandmother and I hid while this happened, and managed to not be caught. My father and grandfather later returned after being treated badly, but my grandfather died of a heart attack, and a heart broken, that May.
  • Move to Jebenhausen

    Move to Jebenhausen
    My family decided that the best idea was to move to Jebenhausen, my mother's home town. We moved in with my grandparents. I became friends with many Christian children my age, but I was only allowed to attend an all-Jewish school a train ride away in Stuttgart. However, my education was halted six months later when transports to the "East" began.
  • The Holocaust Reaches Us

    The Holocaust Reaches Us
    My parents, grandmother, and I were told to report for "resettlement". My father was able to obtain postponement with my family, but my grandmother was deported to Latvia, were death awaited her by firing squad. Many people in my family were also sent to Latvia. Others were sent to Poland and never heard from again.
  • Deporation to Terezin

    Deporation to Terezin
    My family could no longer obtain postponement, and we were all required to report for resettlement. We were sent to Terezin, which was a camp used for prisoners who were to be sent to Auschwitz later on. Most of my friends were sent to gas chambers. I got many illnesses and was sent to the camp's "hospital" many times. I was there when the International Red Cross came to inspect the camp, and I was also there when "Brundibar", a child's opera, was first performed.
  • My Eighth Birthday

    My Eighth Birthday
    It is my birthday, and I have turned eight. My parents give me a tiny potato cake with some sugar as a present. It's the best they can do, and I am very thankful.
  • My Ninth Birthday

    My Ninth Birthday
    For my ninth birthday, my parents give me an outfit for Marlene, sewn from rags they found in the camp. It makes me happy, despite the conditions here, that we are all together. The simple things that we do keep us alive, I think. This picture is of inmates at the same camp as I am.
  • My Tenth Birthday

    My Tenth Birthday
    This is the third birthday that I celebrate in Terezin, the concentration camp. My mother writes me a poem for my birthday present, and I treasure it. I hope that we will be able to get out of this camp soon. I do not want to be here much longer. These guards eat bread that all the prisoners need to survive, and I hope to eat bread soon, too.
  • Liberation

    On May 8th, 1945, my parents and I are finally liberated from this awful camp. We later find out that the soldiers here were rushing to build gas chambers so that we would all be killed, but the Soviet soldiers arrived before they could finish. Of the 15,000 children sent to Terezin, 1% survived. I am part of that one percent. My parents and I stay in Goppingen for a short time. We learned that at least thirteen close relatives were killed during the Holocaust.
  • To the United States

    To the United States
    My parents and I move to the United States in May 1946. We moved to New York. I had to battle illness caused by lack of food and the awful conditions in the camp for two years.
  • Citizenship

    I gained my citizenship in 1953, seven years after my parents and I moved to the United States
  • Graduation From High School

    Graduation From High School
    Though I lost many years of school, I graduated from Bushwick High School in Brooklyn, New York in 1953, after only 3 years.
  • Graduation From College

    Graduation From College
    I got a BS in Chemistry at Queens college. For the next 38 years, I worked as a chemist.
  • Speaking Out

    Speaking Out
    1981 was the first year that I spoke out about my experiences in the war. I wrote a song called "We Shall Never Forget". It was presented at the first "World Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors" in Jerusalem.
  • Ellis Island Medal of Honor

    Ellis Island Medal of Honor
    I was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1999.
  • Today

    I have been lecturing on the Holocaust since 1981. I have written more than 50 poems, which have been published. I have spoken to thousands of people in the USA, Canada, and Germany. I speak to everyone from every ethnic background, children, college students, and adults. I have appeared on many radio and television shows. Documentary films have been made about my life. I am an author of four award-winning books. I hope to teach people the lesson of tolerance and affect lives with my story.