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2017-10-06 digital edition
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October 6, 2017  RSS feed

Text: T T T

Museum records local woman’s story: Of 96 crammed into boxcar, only 5 survive Holocaust

Judith Szentivany today Judith Szentivany today Holocaust Survivor Judith Szasz was 16 years old when she and her mother Magda and 6-year-old sister Emilia were loaded into a boxcar in Miskolc, Hungary, in 1944 and sent to the Nazi German Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Poland.

There were 96 people in that boxcar and only five survived the Holocaust. Judith was one of the survivors; her mother and sister were killed at Auschwitz.

The story of Judith Szasz, now Judith Szentivanyi, 89, of St. Petersburg, is one of 25 survivor stories that the Florida Holocaust Museum will be posting on its website in conjunction with the museum’s 25th anniversary.

Here is an except from that story:

After four or five days [in the boxcar], Judith arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau. “There were German soldiers standing around, and they selected people, some right, some left,” Judith recalls. “The decision was the following: all the mothers with children were sent to one side, also all the old people, and all those people who looked not completely healthy. The rest, including me, were sent to the other side.” Judith was separated from her mother and 6-year-old sister during the selection.

Judith Szentivanyi, born Judith Szasz, age 9, with her mother Judith Szentivanyi, born Judith Szasz, age 9, with her mother “I wanted so much to go with them but they did not let me,” Judith recalls. “Somebody told me that they went to ‘H Lager.’ Later I asked a German guard where the ‘H Lager’ was, and he told me that is the Heaven Lager.”

Judith was held at Auschwitz- Birkenau for several days. The prisoners’ heads were shaved and women were given a single striped dress to wear. Judith was soon loaded again onto a boxcar and taken to the Plaszów labor camp, near Krakow, where she was held for roughly five months...

The full story can be found at

To learn more about the FHM’s upcoming 25th Anniversary events and exhibitions, visit the museum online at The Florida Holocaust Museum is located at 55 Fifth St. S., St. Petersburg, FL 33701. For more information, call (727) 820-0100.

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