The stories below are of Holocaust survivors, their families, and witnesses to genocide who live, or who have lived, in Washington State.

Survivor Voices - Excerpts of video testimonies from Washington State Holocaust survivors. Exhibit includes maps, photo galleries, and timelines. Click here to see the exhibit.

Alter W., age 14 Alter W.
"I became an orphan at the age of 13.  I could no longer go to school, I was subjected to deprivation, persecution, helplessness, and hopelessness." Alter was born in Poland in 1926. In 1942 he was deported to a forced labor camp. Alter spent 35 months incarcerated in 5 camps.
Bertie M. Bertie M.
Bertie was born in Amsterdam, Holland. In January 1943, at the age of 7, Bertie and her mother were ordered out of their home and transported to a theater that was being used as a temporary jail at the time. With the help of the Dutch underground, Bertie was "abducted." She was hidden in the home of her step-mother's sister, who was not Jewish.
33- Mizzi and toddler Doris Doris B. (Second Generation)
“We went to England, excited, with mixed feelings of leaving our country, parents and home behind and entering into the unknown. We saved our lives. We did not know where to go or what to expect or what the future would be.” Marie “Mizzi” Fink was born in the Sudetenland. In 1939, when the Nazis arrived in Prague, she and her husband were forced to flee across Europe without their possessions or family. Her parents were both killed in Auschwitz, but Mizzi made it across the Atlantic to New York. Her daughter, Doris, is now a second generation speaker.
Ed K. 1935

Ed K.
Ed's group of partisans had to scavenge for food and supplies from nearby towns and farms. Once, they found a mound of potatoes. They divided them up – one potato per person per day.
Ed was born in Poland in 1921. When the Nazis established a ghetto for all the Jews in the area, Ed escaped with several others and joined a partisan group in the forest. The partisan groups sabotaged the Nazis. They destroyed telephone lines and railroad tracks whenever possible. By the end of the war, Ed had completed about 25 missions.

Eva C. Eva C.
"All of a sudden we hear 'Hitler's coming!' And of course everybody had to give the Hitler salute - except Jews to whom it was forbidden. And so my mother said, "turn around." And we quickly turned around toward a jewelry shop and watched the reflection of Hitler passing by." Eva was born in Berlin, Germany.  In 1939, at the age of 16, she and her mother were able to obtain an affidavit from a cousin in Seattle, allowing them to emmigrate. "Survivor Voices" - Watch video of Eva.
Fanny W

Fanny W.
"Hatred has no room in our hearts or in our homes."  Fanny was born in south-western Poland. When she was 14, the Nazis sent her to a labor camp - a factory in Czechoslovakia. Fanny managed to survive 5 1/2 years in the camp. Her father, step-mother, brother, and sister were all killed.

Frieda S. - 1940/1941. From a school photo.

Frieda S.
"I grew up celebrating Passover and Christmas. I knew I was Jewish, but religion wasn't a central part of my life. When Germany invaded Czechoslovakia, my religion came to define me." In 1943, at the age of 14, Frieda was deported to Theresienstadt, a concentration camp in her native country of Czechoslovakia, because she was a "mischling" - half Jewish. Frieda's mother was not Jewish, but her father was. "Survivor Voices" - watch video of Frieda.

Gail E.

Gail E.
Gail's father managed to smuggle her out of the Warsaw Ghetto. He gave her a sleeping pill and hid her in a duffel bag. Gail spent the first two years of her life in the Warsaw Ghetto, until her father smuggled her out and hid her with a Polish family.

George E - Warsaw 1945-46 George E.
"I neither looked nor knew that I was Jewish, so shortly after my 3rd birthday my mother smuggled me out of the Warsaw ghetto, then paid various Polish Catholic families to hide me and raise me with their own children." George was one year old and living in Warsaw when the Nazis invaded Poland. George and his mother would be the only survivors of their family.  Check out George's blog.
Henry F. Age 17 in Silesia, 1945.

Henry F.
"When I was in hiding, I feared I would be the only Jew who survived. A terrible empty feeling came over me at the loss of so many cousins, and I felt as though I were standing all alone in a huge stadium." Henry was born in Brody, Poland. In 1941, when Henry was 14, Nazi Germany occupied Brody. Henry and his family hid on a farm owned by the Symchucks, a Christian family. For 18 months the Symchucks hid Henry and his family in a space the size of a queen sized bed.  The Symchucks have been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations. "Survivor Voices" - watch video of Henry.

Hester K.

Hester K.
"My girlfriend was my first rescuer. She was all of 15 years old. I will always remember her courage." Hester was 13 years old when her hometown in Holland was occupied by the Nazis in 1942. "Survivor Voices" - watch video of Hester.

Josh G 1947 DP Camp Berlin for website2 Josh G.
Josh was 3 years old when the German army invaded his hometown in Poland. His family fled Poland and found refuge in Siberia.
Klaus & Paula S. Klaus and Paula S.
"I was taken with my wife the 19th of April 1943 with a group of about 1000 people. As soon as I arrived in Auschwitz, I received a tattoo on my left front arm, with the number 117033." Klaus and Paula married in 1941 in Germany. Both survived Auschwitz and several other camps. "Survivor Voices" - watch video of Klaus.
Leo H. Liberator of Buchenwald. 1944.

Leo H.
"What I saw that morning in Buchenwald, has never faded." Born in Sharon, Idaho, in 1926, Leo came of age in a safe, innocent world, but at age 19, he liberated Buchenwald.

Magda S. Magda S. - told by her son, Jack
"When I heard about groups that denied the Holocaust, I decided I had to speak out." Magda was born in Hungary 1922, imprisoned in Auschwitz, and eventually sent to work at the slave labor camp of Muhldorf, where she met the man she would marry. Jack, Magda's son, tells his mother's story. "Survivor Voices" - watch video of Magda.
Celine Morali - part of the French Resistance Marie-Anne H.  (Second Generation)
"When I was a little girl, I heard stories around the dinner table from family members about what happened during the Nazi German occupation of Paris, home of my mother’s family. My Grandmother has always been my hero, as she helped to save 300 Jewish refugees escape to Free France." Marie-Anne tells the story of her grandmother and mother - both part of the French resistance during the Holocaust.  Check out Marie-Anne's website.
FeliciaonSSFranconia-1949-MattE Matthew E.  (Second Generation) - Tells the story of his mother, Felicia
Felicia Lewkowicz was born in Krakow, Poland in 1923. When she was 18, the Nazis established the Krakow ghetto and sent her and her brother there, separating them from their family. Felicia would eventually escape, but was caught and sent to Auschwitz and later to Bergen-Belsen before it was liberated on April 15, 1945. Her son, Matthew, shares his mother's story.
Morgan A.

Morgan A.
When the Nazis took power spreading their domination in Europe, Jenneroze [Morgan's grandmother] began to plan a safety route for her family. No countries were accepting ‘Gypsy’ refugees. Morgan was born in the United States to a Roma/Sinti (Gypsy) family that escaped Nazi persecution. Morgan is an outspoken advocate for Roma/Sinti peoples around the world today.

Noemi B.

Noemi B.
"It took not more than a few seconds and I was separated from my dear ones." Noemi was born in Hungary. She survived the ghetto, cattle cars, and Auschwitz.

Peter M. Amsterdam. 1941.

Peter M.
"My mother and I slept together in a bed that was inside a closet. I remember lying in that bed trembling in fear at times." In 1942, when Peter was 7, the Nazis seized Peter's entire family except for Peter and his mother. With the help of the Dutch Underground, Peter and his mother survived the war in hiding. "Survivor Voices" - watch video of Peter.

Robert H.

Robert H.
"I was born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1938, which was neither the right time nor the right place to be born a Jew." As a young child, Robert and his family fled to France. His father escaped a French concentration camp and the family crossed the Alps by foot, finding refuge in Switzerland in 1943.


Ron F. (Second Generation) - tells the story of his father Herbert
Herbert Friedman was born in Vienna, Austria in 1924. When Austria fell under Nazi occupation in March of 1938, he was immediately expelled from school while other Jews faced equally and more severe consequences. Shortly after the infamous Kristallnacht pogrom, Herbert was lucky enough to become oneof 10,000 children in Europe who were saved by the Kindertransport (Childrens’ Transport). His son, Ron, is now a second generation speaker.

Steve A.

Stephen A.
"In March of 1939, my parents took me to a train station in Berlin for the trip to Hamburg. From there, I boarded a ship to Southampton, England, along with hundreds of other Jewish boys and girls. I didn’t know then whether I would see my family again…." Stephen, born in Berlin, Germany in 1930, was part of the Kindertransport. "Survivor Voices" - watch video of Stephen.