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Rozia Grynbaum

Starachowice, Poland

Rozia was the second-oldest of nine children born to religious Jewish parents in Starachowice, a town in east-central Poland. Their small one-story house served as both the family's residence and their tailor shop. The tailoring was often done in exchange for goods such as firewood or a sack of potatoes. Rozia worked in the shop sewing women's clothing.

1933-39: Rozia married a Jewish tailor from Radom, a large town some 60 miles south of Warsaw. The couple settled in Starachowice, and they ran a tailor shop there. Rozia's two young daughters were born before Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939.

1940-45: At 4 a.m. one morning in October 1942, SS guards herded the town's Jews into the marketplace. The guards segregated the "able-bodied" adults--those who could be used as forced laborers--from the children and the elderly. Rather than be separated from her two young daughters, Rozia joined them in their line. By 10 a.m. the selection was over; the column of 4,500 Jews where Rozia, her daughters and her mother stood was marched to waiting cattle cars in the rail yard.

The transport was sent to the Treblinka extermination camp, where Rozia, her daughters and her mother were gassed.

 

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