The first official Jewish transport to Auschwitz brought 999 young women. This is their story.
At the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the death camp, a survivor recalls how she came to Auschwitz in March 1942—and the terrible years that followed.
POPRAD, SLOVAKIASeventy-five years ago, Russian soldiers advanced on Auschwitz. It was January 27, 1945, when the gates were finally opened to about 6,000 prisoners. Days earlier, the Nazis had forced nearly 30,000 other prisoners to leave on foot in the midst of a blizzard.
“We opened and closed Auschwitz,” Edith Grosman says of her ordeal. It began when she and more than 900 other young Slovak women, many of them teenagers, boarded the first official Jewish transport to Auschwitz in 1942. It would end for some of them on that forced march. Edith was fortunate to survive until armistice on May 8, 1945.
Edith and I are sitting in a Soviet-era hotel room in Poprad, a picturesque town in Slovakia. Outside, snow-covered peaks