Survivor STORY

Dorothy (Dora) Rosenberg Holzer was born in Rozwasdow, Poland. Her father, Gedalia Rosenberg, headed a branch of a German company that specialized in lumber and construction, so her family was quite well off. When the Germans invaded Poland, the family tried to escape. They ended up fleeing to Stryj, where the family of Dorothy's future husband, Marion, lived.

By the end of 1942, Marion's whole family had been murdered in aktions in the ghetto and Dorothy's father, her mother, Sima, and sister, Leah had been deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Dorothy and Marion, who had married by that time, were able to secure false papers through a friend and were thus able to pass as Polish Christians. They moved to Lvov, or Lemberg, where Marion, who was an electrical engineer, found employment for the rest of the war.

After liberation, the Holzers made their way illegally with the Bricha across the border into Czechoslovakia and then to a Displaced Person's camp in Austria. From there they immigrated to Israel and then to Montreal, Canada. Dorothy and Marion moved to Atlanta in 1994, where Marion died a few years later.

Dorothy and Marion have one son, Gil, and four grandchildren.

Day of Liberation

We knew when end of war came, because when my husband was working in that, in German, in Shmattloch's firm, he liked him so much, and Mr. Schmattloch was so good to us. He told us everything, about his son, and about his daughter, and about the whole family, that he employed so many Jews in Katowice. He told us everything. Maybe he smelled out that we were Jews. But he was good to us.

How did you help him later?

Later? When we came to Katowice, we were in touch with him. But he knew we were Jews that time. I was not afraid. So, when, once they were taking all the Germans away, the Polaks, the Communists, from Katowice. Once he called us up. He said that he's in trouble because they wanted to arrest him. But he really was a nice guy. I don't know why they arrested him because he was German. So my husband, being still with the Polish papers, he had people who worked in the secret police, Polaks. And he went to one of his friends and says, "Listen, here is a man that they want to arrest him. He helped me a lot. You let him out." And he wrote a letter, a beautiful letter, to the secret police. And they let him out.

Separation From and Finding Family

I knew what happened. We know the fate of everybody. We knew that. And I knew, it was funny, I, when I was in Israel, I was walking with my cousin in Israel on the street. And there was a man, a young man, running after me and my cousin and he started, he was talking Hebrew, so I said to my cousin, "Listen to him, what is he talking to me? What does he want to talk to me?" That man told me, told my cousin, that he was in the same camp where, where my father was, and he saw him dying. So I knew the fate of everybody.

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Dorothy Rosenberg Holzer