Holocaust survivor speaks at BGSU Firelands

HURON Miriam Winter considersherself one of the few survivors. Winter shared her stor
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

HURON

Miriam Winter considersherself one of the few survivors.

Winter shared her story as a Holocaust survivor with a crowded room Wednesday night at BGSU Firelands.

"I hope you realize that this is a story of one of those few that survived. Those who did not survive could tell much more," she said.

Winter survived the horror of concentration camps by assuming a false identity as a young child.

She was passed from family to family and had to pretend to be their daughter.

She described her family before the war as a string of beads -- a string that eventually broke.

"My scared mother begged a woman she knew for years to take me away ... Without any plan of what she would do with me, she took pity on my mother and agreed to take me," Winter said. "I survived even though I can't recall my mother's face ... I didn't know that we were parting. I didn't know it was forever.

Winter had false papers saying she was not Jewish, and even learned the prayer "Our Father" in an effort to better conform.

Even after World War II was over, Winter continued to hide her past.

"When the war ended, no one came to look for me. I knew that I should hide and it was dangerous to say that I has Jewish, so I continued hiding," she said. "Lies saved my life during the war, and I didn't stop lying when the war was over."

In 1991 she finally met with a group of other Holocaust survivors.

"For the first time we realized there were other people in the same situations. Each story was so different. We told each other stories, and we listened to historians who made us aware in 1991 that we were the last witnesses," she said.

Winter wrote "Trains: A Memoir of a Hidden Childhood during and after World War II," which details her experiences.