Seniors in MTA’s Names, Not Numbers elective course recently began filming their Holocaust documentary. They had the privilege of interviewing Holocaust survivors Ruth Gruener, Claire Grunwald, and Susan Charney in a safe and socially distant manner. Each woman shared her story in an effort to help MTA talmidim educate the world about the Holocaust and ensure that their stories of survival are never forgotten. Ruth Gruener described what it was like to be hidden by Righteous Gentiles in Poland during the War.
Senior Nussy Samuel had the special opportunity to interview his great-grandmother, Claire Grunwald, who shared her story of growing up in Debrecen, Hungary, with her parents and five sisters. Her life was turned upside down in Sixth Grade when the Nazis came into power and transformed her town into a ghetto, where Jews no longer had rights or privileges. Claire, her mother, and four of her sisters were eventually transported from the ghetto to the Strasshoff Concentration Camp, narrowly escaping death in the gas chambers. They were fortunate to survive the Holocaust, despite the terrible loss of their father and sixth sister. Susan Charney discussed her experience of being born into a large and thriving Hungarian Jewish population just one year before the outbreak of World War II. By the end of the war, she was one of the few Jewish children to survive with family intact, and went on to become a founding member of the National Association of Child Holocaust Survivors. Seniors look forward to sharing more survivor stories as they continue to develop their documentary film.