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San Francisco, California
August 15, 2005

Annie (Hanka) Glatt Glass was born in 1924 in Wierzbnik-Starachowice, Poland. Her parents were Azrael and Sprinze Hirschenhorn Glatt. Annie had two full sisters (Sally and Miriam), a half-sister (Paula) and a half-brother (Bernard). Her family was in the wholesale dry-goods business. The business was prosperous and the family was well off. She attended public schools but also received a Jewish education where she learned Yiddish and Hebrew. She was 15 when the war started and Wierzbnik-Starachowice was bombed by the Germans. On the very first day of the war her brother was shot and killed by the Germans. The persecution began immediately after occupation and the synagogue was burned to the ground within a few days. As Jews from the area surrounding the city were forced into the ghetto, the Glatt family took in relatives and strangers until there were about 50 people living in their home. Her father had to surrender his store and goods but he managed to hide some things to sell later. The Jews were put to work in the local steel factory, the Hermann Goering Werke. In 1942 the ghetto was liquidated and Annie and selected members of her family were split up and sent to several local slave labor camps. Those not assigned to the labor camps were deported to Treblinka and murdered. Her mother died in the slave labor camp and her father in Treblinka. Just before the deportation her sister had made arrangements with a Polish woman to take her child but at the last minute she was unable to give the baby up and they were both deported and murdered. In 1944 Annie's slave labor camp was closed and the last of the inmates were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. At the end of the war, as the Russians neared Auschwitz, Annie was marched on foot to Ravensbruck concentration camp. They stayed there for only about ten days and then were moved on to Leipzig and then Malhow in Germany. In Malhow, Annie along with hundreds of other girls were abandoned. She was liberated by the Russians on May 8, 1945. Miraculously Annie and three of her sisters survived. Annie was inconsolable for some time after liberation but finally linked up with several other Jewish girls to make the trip home. She made it to Lodz where she quickly found that the Jews who had returned were not welcome. Annie eventually made her way back to Germany to Bergen-Belsen DP camp, and met her husband, Charles Glass, in Berlin. They were married in 1946 and had their first child in Bergen-Belsen. She and Charles stayed in Bergen-Belsen until 1950. They had wanted to go to Israel, but only her younger sister managed to get permission to go there and eventually Annie and Charles registered to go to the United States. They arrived in New Orleans on January 16, 1950 aboard the USS General Hershey. From New Orleans they moved to San Francisco, California where her son, David was born, and where she still lives today. Annie describes her childhood and family, her education, the arrival of the Germans and her life under German occupation in the ghetto, work camp and her arrival and time in Auschwitz-Birkenau, including how her work detail was assigned to dismantle the gas chambers and crematoria brick by brick to erase the evidence of their existence. She describes the last few weeks of the war as the Jewish girls were marched out of Auschwitz-Birkenau and their liberation. Annie recalls the post-war years, meeting her husband, her children and coming to the United States and starting over again.

OHC-Annie (Hanka) Glatt Glass

Annie (Hanka) Glatt Glass (1924 - ) - Oral History

55 Related Subjects

Glatt, Bernard, -1939

Glass, Annie (Hanka) Glatt, 1924-

Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)

Holocaust Survivors

Dry Goods
General Stores; Dime Stores; Department Stores

Jewish schools

Yiddish Language

Hebrew Language


World War, 1939-1945

Air raids, German

Yom Kippur
Judaism - Fasts and Feasts; High Holidays

Judaism--Fasts and Feasts

High Holidays
Judaism - Fasts and Feasts; Yom Kippur; Rosh Ha-Shanah

Jews - Persecution

Slave Labor Camps: Poland
World War, 1939-1945

Hermann Goering Werke

Glatt, Azriel, -1943

Glatt, Sprinze Hirschenhorn, -1943

Treblinka (Death Camps: Poland)
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945); Death Camps: Poland

Wierzbnik-Starachowice, Poland

Hirschenhorn, Schlomo

Hirschenhorn, Feigele

Glatt, Josef

Glatt, Esther

Jewish soldiers

World War, 1914-1918

Sabbath Goy


Judaism--Customs and Practices

Łódź (Poland)

Ghettos: Poland
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)

Auschwitz (Concentration camp)
World War, 1939-1945; Concentration Camps: Poland

World War, 1939-1945 - Concentration Camps: Country

Death Marches
World War, 1939-1945; Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)

Ravensbrück (Concentration camp)
World War, 1939-1945; Concentration Camps: Germany

Bergen-Belsen (Displaced Persons Camps: Germany)
Displaced Persons Camps: Germany; World War, 1939-1945

Concentration Camps: Poland
World War, 1939-1945

Concentration Camps: Germany
World War, 1939-1945

Death Camps: Poland
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)

Leipzig, Germany


Judaism - Fasts and Feasts

Judaism - Fasts and Feasts; Passover


Displaced Persons Camps: Germany
World War, 1939-1945

Bergen-Belsen (Concentration camps)
World War, 1939-1945; Concentration Camps: Germany

Glass, Charles

United States

New Orleans (La.)


Bremerhaven (Germany)

San Francisco (Calif.)


Emigration and Immigration

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