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Nanny Gottschalk Lewin

Schlawe, Germany

Nanny was the oldest of four children born to Jewish parents in the small town of Schlawe in northern Germany, where her father owned the town's grain mill. Nanny was given the Hebrew name Nocha. She grew up on the mill grounds in a house surrounded by orchards and a big garden. In 1911 Nanny married Arthur Lewin. Together, they raised two children, Ludwig and Ursula.

1933-39: My widowed mother and I have moved to Berlin. We feared the rising antisemitism in Schlawe and hoped, as Jews, to be less conspicuous here in a large city. We live downstairs from my sister Kathe who is married to a Protestant and has converted. Shortly after we got settled, the Germans restricted the public movements of Jews, so that we no longer feel safe when we're out of our apartment.

1940-44: My mother and I have been deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto in Bohemia. We've been assigned a room on the second floor of a house that is dirty, crowded and infested with lice. The stove is fueled with sawdust. As the youngest in our room--and I'm 56--I've been lugging in the bags of sawdust on my back. I've been getting increasingly weaker, am now hard of hearing and need a cane to walk. Early this morning I learned that I'm on a list of people to go to another camp. I don't want to go but have no choice.

Nanny was deported to Auschwitz on May 15, 1944, and was gassed immediately upon arrival. She was 56 years old.

 

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