Academy students and staff, as well as parents and community members who joined us, were privileged to hear Fritzie Weiss Fritzshall share her story on Yom HaShoah this Thursday. Fritzie is president of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center and an active speaker on her experiences in the Holocaust.
Fritzie spoke about her childhood before the war, and the hell she experienced, beginning with her family’s deportation to the ghetto when she was 13. She described in great detail the experience of traveling to Auschwitz in a cattle car, a journey that left most of the babies and elderly passengers in the car dead, including Fritzie’s grandfather.
Close to the end of the war, Fritzie was moved to a sub camp of Auschwitz where she worked as a slave laborer in a factory. She says, “If we thought that Aushwitz was bad, this factory was much worse.” Fritzie was the youngest of 600 women working there and says, “Every night when we received a meager ration of bread, I would hold out my hand, and 599 little crumbs of bread would fall in it from these women in exchange for the promise that if I survived, I would tell their story.”
Thank you, Fritzie, for the honor of hearing your story.
This program was generously sponsored in memory of Rabbi Shlomo Hirsch Koller, hy”d and his sister Etka Koller-Cykornik, hy”d, by Sharon and Seymour Gertz and the estate of Margalit bat Rav Shilem Sorkin z”l .
Many thanks to the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center for arranging our speaker.