On arrival at Auschwitz, Greta passed the selection and was assigned to work at "Kanada", in Birkenau, sorting through the clothes of murdered Jews. When she fell ill and grew weak, instead of being sent to the gas chambers like the other sick inmates, she was sent to work in the offices of the SS, thanks to her command of the German language.
Harry Knopf, a journalist deported from Berlin to Theresienstadt and then to Auschwitz, worked in the same office where she managed the accounts. Greta and Harry fell in love, and Harry made her a ring engraved with the initials of their first names, "HG". They planned to get married after the war.
On 18 January 1945, the Germans forced prisoners from Auschwitz on a death march. Greta and Harry never met again; Harry was murdered on the death march while Greta arrived at the Ravensbrück camp. When she was marched together with the other prisoners in the direction of Dresden, Greta escaped and found refuge in the house of a local farmer. On 9 April 1945, she was liberated by the Red Army.
All Greta's efforts to locate Harry after the war proved fruitless.
Greta got married while in a DP camp, and immigrated to Israel with her husband and daughter in 1948.
Yad Vashem Artifacts Collection
Donated by Greta Fürst, Naharia, Israel