© 2021 All Rights reserved WUSF
News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

90-Year-Old Auschwitz Survivor Shares Her Story

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Tomorrow is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It marks the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1945. MORNING EDITION spoke with one survivor who told us her story.

RUTH COHEN: I am Ruth Cohen. I am 90 and three-quarter years old (laughter). Oh, the early years were wonderful. I had a nice house. I had a nice neighborhood. I had wonderful parents and family, and life was great. Starting in '38, when Hitler cut Czechoslovakia up, almost immediately, my dad's business was taken away. And in '44, as soon as Hitler marched into Budapest, we were told to leave our houses and go to a ghetto. At that point, one morning we were told to get up, take our stuff, whatever we had, and walk to the brick factory. The brick factory had train tracks, and we were herded onto the trains. My favorite biology teacher was not going to go up the steps. She sat down. And she said she is not going. And she was shot immediately. And that was quite, quite, quite terrible. So then we were in the train for about four days, arrived in Auschwitz. The selection took place. My mother went one way with my brother and my two little adopted sister and brother. Myself and my sister went one way. And my dad went another way. My dad survived, and my sister and myself survived.

(SOUNDBITE OF OEDOEN PARTOS AND THE ISRAEL CAMERATA JERUSALEM'S "YIZKOR")

COHEN: I think that we lived through terrible, terrible, different stages of horror. We're survivors. However, I survived feeling that I was very lucky and that hope helped me survive. I am still a very, very hopeful person. And we all want to believe that it couldn't happen again. But we don't know. We all have a role in making sure that it doesn't.

(SOUNDBITE OF OEDOEN PARTOS AND THE ISRAEL CAMERATA JERUSALEM'S "YIZKOR")

MARTIN: That's 90-year-old Ruth Cohen, volunteer at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum here in D.C. and a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp. She spoke to us ahead of tomorrow's Holocaust Remembrance Day.

(SOUNDBITE OF OEDOEN PARTOS AND THE ISRAEL CAMERATA JERUSALEM'S "YIZKOR") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.