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Bluma Errankrantz Shapiro was born in Bialystok, Poland on August 28, 1923. She grew up with her parents and had three older brothers and one older sister. Germany invaded Poland in 1939, and by 1941, Bluma and her family were forced to live in the Bialystok Ghetto. In 1942, the Nazis refused to let Jewish residents of the ghetto leave. In February of 1943, Bluma and her family went into hiding. A few weeks later, Bluma was taken by the Nazis and sent to Majdanek and Bliżyn concentration camps in Poland. In February of 1944, Bliżyn was liquidated and Bluma was sent to Auschwitz. In January of 1945, when the process of liquidating Auschwitz began, Bluma was forced by the Nazis on a death march. Bluma and the other prisoners were liberated during the march.
Bluma returned to Bialystok to search for surviving family members, ultimately discovering that she was the only surviving family member. In Bialystock, she met Philip Shapiro, who she eventually married in 1946. After the wedding, Bluma and her husband moved to a displaced persons camp in Wels, Austria. In 1949, Bluma, her husband, her sister-in-law, and her brother-in-law traveled to New York and moved to Lakewood, New Jersey, where they worked on a farm. They then moved to Baltimore, where Bluma and her husband bought a Kosher grocery store in 1950. Their son was born later that year and in 1957, Bluma and her husband sold their store and moved to Pikesville, Maryland, where Bluma began working for the Jewish Family Service. During the 1960s, Bluma began to share her experiences during the Holocaust publically.
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