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Girl in a Striped Dress
A Survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Geislingen Steige, and Allach

by Rosalie Lebovic Simon ©2014, Paperback, ISBN: , 178 pp
 

Rosalie Lebovic Simon, born in Czechoslovakia, the baby of the family, was only a child when World War II began. A gifted student she was expelled from school in 1943. By April of 1944 she and her whole family were deported first to a ghetto located in Mátészalka, Hungary, and then eight weeks later to Auschwitz Birkenau. There she and her four sisters were separated from her parents and her brother, William.

 

Rosalie’s memoir tells of the number of escapes from death that she had. Twice selected for the gas chambers, she is saved by the kindness of others. Eventually she is transported with her sisters to labor camps where they work making munitions. Liberated in 1945 by the American army, Rosalie and her sisters, after finding their father, return to Teresva, their hometown, to a ghost town with the Jewish homes emptied and no children playing. Not yet fourteen years old Rosalie was faced with some bitter truths. Her life and the lives of her family had been torn to pieces as if by wolves. But, she writes, “at least we had our lives.”

 

When she was eighteen, Rosalie immigrated to the United States, living for a time in Baltimore, Maryland, where she met her husband, Sidney. The couple later moved to South Jersey and has prospered. Sidney and Rosalie have three children, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren—these are not only her revenge on Hitler but also her hope for the future.

 

Rosalie ends her memoir with a prayer: “I pray that the world’s children grow up where there is no more bloodshed and murder. I pray that no one is ever again forced to wear a striped dress, the uniform of a concentration camp prisoner.”

Girl in a Striped Dress

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