Auschwitz survivor speaks on Holocaust

Posted: Monday, 19 April 2010

TROY—The reason Ann Rosenheck speaks about the Holocaust is so that others will know what happened to Jews under Nazi Germany’s regime.

“There’s going to be a time – which was already – there’s going to be a denial that it ever happened,” she said. “So I don’t want it to be forgotten and I want that people should see that I am alive yet and that I do tell what really happened to me.”

Rosenheck brings that message to Troy University this week in a series of lectures presented by the University and the Alabama Humanities Foundation’s “Witness to the Holocaust” program.

She will speak at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 20 in the Troy Campus’ Claudia Crosby Theater. On Wednesday, April 21, she will speak at 6:30 p.m. in Sony Hall on the Dothan Campus; and on Thursday, April 22, she will be lecturing at 6 p.m. on the Montgomery Campus in the Gold Room, located on the second floor of Whitley Hall.

Born in Rachov, Czechoslovakia, a small town nestled in the Carpathain Mountains, Rosenheck was only 13 years old when the Nazis occupied her town. She and her family were first sent to the ghetto, then to Auschwitz concentration camp where she was separated from her family during the “selection” process. After four months there, she was sent to Germany to work in an ammunition factory in Dachau. She was liberated in April 1945, and arrived in the United States in 1948.

At 13, Rosenheck entered Auschwitz with her mother, father and sister. Only she survived.

“Honestly and totally, God was with me because such young children did not survive the camps. The very first camp at Auschwitz, Momma helped me by telling me to lie about my age … I was pulled out of the line, away from my mother and sister and her two kids and put to a side but that meant I went to life but my parents and my sister walked away to death,” she said.

She reunited with her childhood sweetheart Ike in New York City and married. After 30 years in New York, she and her husband retired to south Florida. In 1990, she volunteered as a speaker with the Holocaust Memorial and continues to work with the Foundation for Holocaust Education to bring education and awareness to communities across the country.

All lectures are free and open to the public.