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Lifcia Najman

Radom, Poland

Lifcia and her brother and two sisters were born to religious Zionist parents in Radom, a major center of Polish leather production. The city had more than 100 tanneries and shoe factories. Lifcia's father worked as a leather broker, matching manufacturers with clients who sought specific types of leather. The Najman family lived in a two-room apartment in the center of town.

1933-39: At secondary school, Lifcia learned math, science, Polish language, history, and German. Three times a week she attended a girls Hebrew academy called Beis Ya'akov. After graduation, Lifcia worked sewing and selling women's undergarments. She was working as a seamstress in Radom when the Germans invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, reaching Radom seven days later.

1940-44: In 1941 the Nazis set up a ghetto in Radom, and when they liquidated the ghetto in August 1942, Lifcia's parents were deported to the Treblinka death camp. Twenty-four-year-old Lifcia was eventually deported to Auschwitz, where she contracted typhus, but recovered. She was assigned to work as a seamstress for the family of an SS officer at their home in the camp. This job made it possible for her to supplement her starvation rations by stealing dog biscuits from the family pet.

Lifcia survived Auschwitz, and was liberated on May 8, 1945. She later emigrated to the United States.

 

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