Rosa Werzer was born on January 23, 1924 in Vienna, Austria, the only child of merchants, Salomon and Eva. When the Anschluss—or annexation—occurred in March 1938, Nazis looted the Werzers’ home and business and sent them to jail, although Rosa and her parents were released three months later. On October 30, 1938, Rosa left Vienna to live with her aunt and uncle in New York City. Nearly a week later, Rosa’s father was arrested by the Nazis, and her parents were eventually deported to the Lodz ghetto in 1941. It is unknown whether they perished in the ghetto or at a concentration camp. Rosa left school in 1940 and worked at a knitting factory. In 1942, she attended Spencer Business School and worked simultaneously as an administrative assistant.
On Labor Day in 1946, Rosa met Werner Marx, another Holocaust survivor. They got engaged less than a year later and married in July of 1947. Within weeks after their marriage, Rosa and Werner moved to Baltimore. In May 1950, their first daughter, Eve, was born. They had another child, Deborah, in 1953. Rosa started her job at the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HAIS) in 1961. She left ten years later to open a boutique with a friend, and started her work in real estate in 1977. Rosa began talking publicly about her experiences in the Holocaust shortly after retiring in 1988.
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