65 years have passed since I was liberated from the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.
The Germans entered Fiume, Italy, in September 1943. Vincenzo Tambini, Righteous Among the Nations, helped us hide. Fearing betrayal, we attempted to flee to Switzerland, and were caught. In May 1944, we were transferred to the Fossoli di Carpa camp, and from there, we were deported to Auschwitz. 80 of us were crammed inside a sealed cattle car, without air, food or water. Seven days later, we arrived, more dead than alive, at the platform of Birkenau. I was 16 years old, thirsty, starving and terrified. My family and I, and hundreds of others, stood in front of a German officer and underwent the selection. With one tweak of his thumb, an SS officer separated my sister Gisi and I from my mother Sarah, my little sister Magditza, my grandfather Kurt and my grandmother Bella. My loved ones were sent to the gas chambers.