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Atlanta, Georgia
January 11, 1996
23 pages

Rosalyn Gross (Haber) was born in Palanok, a suburb of Munkacs. Munkacs was in Czechoslovakia but in 1938 the area was transferred to Hungary. Her parents were Chayim Akiva and Ettele Gross. She had five brothers: Alex, Filip, Benjamin, Bernie, Bill and Sam. There had always been antisemitism in Czechoslovakia, but it became worse under Hungarian rule. In April 1944 the Jews of Munkacs were rounded up and sent to a temporary ghetto on the site of a brick-making factory. Jews were gathered from around the area and pushed into the ghetto. Then the trains began to arrive and the Jews of Munkacs were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Rosalyn and her mother were selected for labor as were her brothers, and sent to different parts of the camp. Ettele was selected from a roll call two weeks later and Rosalyn fought to go with her, trying to slip into her group. But she was unsuccessful and she never saw her mother again. She was alone. In the fall of 1944 Rosalyn was also selected for execution, but slipped out of the group and joined the group of women going to labor. They were sent to a camp near Austerlitz (then in Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, now Czech Republic) and assigned to dig ditches and bunkers for an ammunition factory. It was winter and it was bitter cold. They did not have proper clothing, not even gloves. They were marched back and forth to work, each way taking 1-1/2 hours. At the end of February 1945 the Germans put them on trucks and drove them into the forest. There the prisoners were lined up. Rosalyn thought they were going to be shot, but just at that moment the Allies bombed the area and the German guards temporarily fled. They returned and the girls were sent to Bergen-Belsen where they were dumped and left to die. Most of them, including Rosalyn, were more dead than alive. Bergen-Belsen was liberated by the British on April 15, 1945. It took about six months for her to recover enough to return to Palanok/Munkacs. When she passed through Prague she found her brother Ben, who had survived. Later, she was also reunited with her others brothers: Alex, Sam, Bernie and Phillip. Phillip had returned to Palanok a few months before the war ended. He had been very sick and had hidden until liberation. Ettele and Chayim did not survive. Palanok/Munkacs was no longer home and just before the Russians closed the border they returned to Prague, where they all lived in one room. When they realized Prague was also going to fall under Soviet rule, they fled there too. Rosalyn went to Scotland, and her brothers ended up in various parts of England. Sam immigrated to Israel where he fought in the 1948 War of Independence. Eventually, Rosalyn and her other brothers (except for Filip) were sponsored by an uncle living in New York and they moved to Pennsylvania and eventually to Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. Rosalyn married in 1949.

OHC-Rosalyn Gross Haber

OHC-Rosayln Gross Haber

37 Related Subjects

Haber, Rosalyn Gross

Holocaust Survivors

Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)


Munkacs, Hungary

Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic

Jewish schools


Judaism--Customs and Practices

Gross, Alex (Yankele)

Judaism - Fasts and Feasts

Judaism--Fasts and Feasts

Ghettos: Hungary
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)

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

Concentration Camps: Poland
World War, 1939-1945

Slave Labor Camps: Poland
World War, 1939-1945

Slave Labor
World War, 1939-1945

Austerlitz (Slave Labor Camp: Czechoslovakia)
Slave Labor Camps: Czechoslovakia; World War, 1939-1945

Slave Labor Camps: Czechoslovakia

World War, 1939-1945 - Concentration Camps: Country

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

Concentration Camps: Germany
World War, 1939-1945

Gross, Bill (Beresh)

Gross, Benjamin

Gross, Bernie (Bendi)

Gross, Samuel (Smulki)

Gross, Ettele Levovitz ( - 1944)

Gross, Chaim Akiva ( - 1944)

Prague, Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic

Gross, Phillip (Fishi)

London (England)


Edinburgh (Scotland)


Emigration and Immigration

United States

World War, 1939-1945

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