Janet (Jadzia) ZuchterMoskowitz was born in 1921, in Bedzin, Poland, the eldest child of Ideland Rachel Anja Zuchter. She had a sister, Gucia, and a brother, Sy. The family lived closely connected to her extended family, aunts, uncles, and cousinsâ€”one hundred and forty relativesâ€”who also lived in Bedzin. The thought never came into her mind that these things would ever disappear. She says, "So quickly it was over."
In September 1939 the Germans overran Poland, by October they had burned down their beautiful synagogue, and by November were sending young people to slave labor camps. In 1940, after being sent to the outskirts of Bedzin to a ghetto, thousands of Jews, including Janet, her mother, brother, aunts and uncles were rounded up and sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Separated from all but an uncle and cousin, Janet struggled to survive.
In 1945 after a death march to Ravensbriick, Janet was sent to NeustadtGleve, Germany, a sub-camp of Ravensbruck, where sheâ€™s worked in a Dornier airplane factory. There Janet was liberated in May 1945. After liberation Janet married her husband. Max, a distant relative. Ida, thein daughter, was born in Germany in 1948. In 1950 they immigrated to the United States, eventually buying a chicken farm in Egg Harbor. After almost twenty years farming they retired to Ventnor in 1969. Following Max's death in 1993, Janet was a volunteer for Jewish Family Service, active in AMIT and in the Holocaust survivors group. She often told students about her life during the Shoah, hoping that this would teach them about the consequences of hatred and prejudice.
Janet Moskowitz's story of courage after great loss is an inspiration to young and old, Jew and non-Jew.