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Jewish Heritage: The Oral Histories - Cuba Family Archives

MEMOIRISTS:                    DORA STORCH

                                            MARTY STORCH


LOCATION:                       ATLANTA, GEORGIA

DATE:                                1985

Transcript (PDF)


Dora (Dorothy) Gutman Storch was born in Lodz, Poland on December 7, 1923 to Avraham and Shaindla Gutman. She had two older sisters, Miriam and Ruchel, and one younger brother, Peretz. The family was religious and led a comfortable life. Dora attended a Jewish girls' school.

The Germans occupied Lodz on September 8, 1939. In April 1940, the family was forced to move into the ghetto that had been established. Around the same time, the Gestapo arrested and brutally beat Dora’s father. Unable to adjust to their new reality, her mother soon died. Dora’s brother briefly left the ghetto but returned very ill and died in the ghetto hospital.

The remaining family managed to remain together until they were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in the summer of 1944. Upon arrival, Dora’s father and Ruchel (who refused to be separated from her 6-year-old son) were sent to the gas chambers. Dora and her remaining sister, Miriam, were later briefly sent to Bergen-Belsen and then to the Elsnig labor camp in Torgau, Germany. In Torgau, the sisters worked in an ammunition factory. As the Allies approached, the camp was evacuated. They travelled by train to a series of camps in Germany, which all refused to accept the prisoners. Outside of Frankfurt, the Allies bombed the train and some of the prisoners managed to escape. Dora, Miriam and a few other women hid in the countryside until they were sure the area was liberated.

As soon as possible, Dora and Miriam returned to Lodz to search for surviving family. Realizing they had all perished, the sisters joined friends in Orzokow, Poland. In Orzokow, Dora met Marty Storch, another survivor. Marty and Dora hastily married before fleeing to the American-occupied zone in Germany.

Marty and Dora settled in Bamberg, Germany and Dora gave birth to a daughter. In 1949, Marty, Dora, and their daughter immigrated to the United States. They settled in New Jersey briefly before coming to Atlanta, Georgia. In Atlanta, Jack and Dora had another daughter and a son. Dora died in 2009.

Scope of Interview:

Dora discusses her family life, the arrival of the Germans in Lodz, and the persecution of the Jews. She describes the loss of her mother and brother and daily life in the ghetto. Dora recounts her deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau and the separation from her father and one sister. She recalls the persecution of Jews in the Lodz ghetto. She talks about being sent to Bergen-Belsen and the transfer to Elsnig at Torgau. Dora details the slave labor conditions she endured, how she escaped, and her liberation. She briefly recounts returning to Poland, marrying her husband and moving to Germany. Dora shares how she discussed her experiences with her children and why it is important.

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