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Holocaust Survivor Oral Histories

From 2003 through 2013, Professor Uta Larkey from Goucher College (Baltimore, MD) conducted a class that required students to interview Baltimore-area Holocaust survivors.

INTERVIEW 2: Experiences During the War Years

Biography

Rubin Sztajer was born on February 28, 1926. He grew up in Klobuck, Poland with his parents, three sisters, and two brothers. In 1940, a year after the invasion of Poland, Rubin and his family were forced to live in a ghetto. Rubin regularly snuck out of the ghetto and smuggled what he could back in. On April 12, 1942, Rubin was taken by the S.S. to Markstadt forced labor camp. In June of 1943, the Nazis moved him to the Funfteichen concentration camp, where he was forced to participate in death marches through the snow. When the Allied troops liberated Europe, Rubin was moved to Bergen-Belsen, where he was forced to bury the dead in mass graves. During the war, Rubin’s parents, younger brother, and two youngest sisters perished.

After the war, Rubin and his sister, Gussie, reunited and lived at Bergen-Belsen as displaced persons. Later, they moved to Frankfurt to be reunited with their brother, Sam. Through a sponsorship from the Jewish Agency of Baltimore, Rubin immigrated to Baltimore in May of 1949. He initially worked as a janitor before becoming a salesman. He retired when he was 70 and then began to attend Towson University classes. He currently enjoys playing golf, exercising, and spending time with his family. He married Regina Albert in 1953 and they have three children, seven grandchildren, and a great grandchild. He often speaks with students around the United States about his experiences during the Holocaust.

Additional Resources

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