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April 24, 2014

Survivor speaks about Holocaust

COMMERCE —

An estimated 1.1 million people were killed in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. 

With 90 percent of those killed being Jewish, entire families perished during the reign of terror. 

Rosa Blum was one of the few of her family to survive, and she shared her story during the “Holocaust: Days of Remembrance,” held April 22 inside the Rayburn Student Center at Texas A&M University-Commerce.  

Blum was raised as any normal child would in Europe during the 1930s, with a large family and an emphasis on closeness. 

Blum grew up in Romania until the family moved to Hungary when she was in the fifth grade.

Because of the move and her ancestry, she spoke the Hungarian, Romanian and Jewish languages. 

Everything in her life was normal, until police arrived one day at their house.

“It was very early in the morning when they arrested us,” she said, adding they were marched for a day and a half to their new location. “We had to leave the house in two hours. It was a very hard day; we were not prepared for it.”

The family was moved to a ghetto, where the Nazis would put people who were deemed “undesirable.”

The barbed-wire surrounding the ghetto was a stark change from her childhood. 

The Blums were also issued the yellow star they were to wear on their clothes, which indicated they were Jewish.

“So we all got pointed out we were different,” she said. “They put stars on us to point us out.”

Near the ghetto lived farmers, who would secretly help those inside by throwing food through the fences at night to help feed them.

After being forced to live there for a time, Blum said the Nazis told them they were going to take them from the ghetto “to a nice place.”

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