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Edit Gruenberger

Kosice, Czechoslovakia

Edit was the second of three children born to Hungarian-speaking Jewish parents in the city of Kosice in the southeastern part of Czechoslovakia known as Slovakia. She grew up a Czechoslovak citizen. As a young girl, she attended a Jewish elementary school. Her father was a tailor whose workshop was in the Gruenbergers' apartment.

1933-39: After I finished elementary school, I entered secondary school. The language of instruction was Slovak and Jews faced no discrimination until November 1938 when Hungarian troops marched into southern Slovakia. With Germany's blessing, Kosice became part of Hungary and our new Hungarian rulers introduced anti-Jewish laws. When I finished my schooling in 1939, I began working as a dressmaker with my aunt.

1940-44: I worked for my aunt until 1941 when the Hungarians interned me and my family because we were considered "aliens." In 1942 I was released and returned to work. A month after the Germans occupied Hungary in 1944, our family was ordered to assemble in a nearby brick factory. We were kept there until May when we were deported to Auschwitz along with most of the Jews of Kosice. When we arrived in Auschwitz, my mother and younger sister were sent to the gas chambers and I was selected for slave labor.

After her transfer to the Muehldorf subcamp of Dachau, Edit was liberated in Tutzing by U.S. troops on May 1, 1945 and quickly returned home. She emigrated to West Germany in 1968.

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