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Sarah Brull

Sarah Brull describes the conditions in Auschwitz-Birkenau and poignantly reveals how an unexpected discovery gave her the strength to continue.

Sarah Brull (née Haberman) was born on November 5, 1923 in Uzhorod, in the Carpathian region of Czechoslovakia. Her father Yitzhak was a tailor and he worked together with Sara’s mother Esther. The family spoke Hungarian at home, Yiddish with Sara’s grandmother and Czech in daily life outside the home. The children attended a private Jewish school and also learnt Hebrew and English.

Sarah was the youngest of seven children, have four older brothers and two older sisters. Their names were Shalom, Israel, Dvora, Etta, Asher, and Simon. When Sara was three, her father died and her eldest brother Shalom joined the Haschara movement in preparation for immigrating to Israel; then known as Palestine. He moved to Israel in 1929 and joined a Kibbutz. Later, Sarah’s eldest sister and youngest brother also managed to escape Europe for Israel.

In 1939, the area of Carpathia in which Sarah and her family lived came under Hungarian control and the Jews living there were severely persecuted.

In 1943, when Sara was 21 years old, the family were ordered to move into the Uzhorod ghetto. In June 1944, they were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau and a few months later Sarah was transported on to a work camp in Silesia, and from there to Bergen-Belsen in April 1945.

When Bergen-Belsen was liberated by the British army, Sarah was quite ill. She recovered, and eventually met her future husband in the camp. In June 1945 she left the camp and in 1946 the couple married. Together, Sarah and her husband immigrated to Israel in 1949, before immigrating to Canada.Her full testimony is part of the Canadian Collection of Holocaust survivor testimonies. It is preserved in the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive and accessible through the Ekstein Library.

Sarah Brull

It gave me also at that time, a big strength to go ahead.