Kurt & Tessye Simon Fund for Holocaust Remenbrance Survivor's Stories  
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The People Next Door

Individual Survivor & Liberator Stories


Phyllis Szymkowitz

Born:  May 3, 1928
From: Krzepice, Poland
Slave Laborer, Lone Family Survivor

As a child, Phyllis lived with her father, mother, brother and two sisters in Krzepice, Poland. In 1942 the Nazis seized her entire family, sending her father and brother away to a concentration camp while Phyllis, her mother and sisters were assigned to a slave labor camp in Czechoslovakia.  For the next three years, starting at age thirteen, she worked in the camps for twelve to sixteen hours, often without food.  “We were dogs,” she recalled. “We were not people.”

Her mother and two sisters died in the gas chambers in the Treblinka killing center.

She never heard from her father and brother again. 


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