Survivors' Stories

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”
Elie Wiesel

Catalina Adam

  • From: Romania (Piscolt- Satu Mare County)
  • Liberated from: Czechoslovakia (Oberhohenelbe- forced labour camp)
  • Deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau from: Romania (Oradea- Großwardein)
  • Current Location: Germany (Berlin)
  • Year of birth: 1925

Brief Bio

Catalina was born in 1925 in Piscolt, Romania, to Maria and Stefan Benedek. She had three sisters, Alice, Edith, and Agneta. In April of 1944, Catalina was deported to a ghetto in Oradea, Romania. On May 2, 1944, she was deported to Auschwitz, and in June 1944, she was taken to Lorenz II-Factory, a forced labor camp in Ober-Hohenelbe, working 13 hours a day. Catalina was liberated on May 26, 1945, from Ober-Hohenelbe. During the Holocaust, she lost her parents, grandparents, a sister, and numerous cousins.

After liberation in June 1945, Catalina returned home to Pișcolt. She married Stefan Adam and moved to Tirgu Mures in 1948. They eventually settled in Berlin, Germany, in 1989, where her only son, George, was living as a refugee from the communist regime of Ceaușescu. She is now the proud grandmother of Robert and Georgetta. Today, Catalina resides in Germany. 


What does Auschwitz mean to you?

-an incomprehensible tragedy, because life in general has ceased to exist

-the greatest cruelty possible to humanity, 

-the biggest possible loss ever (here I don’t consider material values)

-the loss of my whole family: Grandparents, Parents, one Sister, many Cousins

– a tragedy was also the fact, that a few of the poor victims of the concentration camps, converted to be guilty in steeling one from the other (food, cloth, caps a.s.o.)

My message for future generations is…:

-to look always attentive around where you live

-to take possible dangers very seriously

-to get well informed about what happened in the past, so that every one can be warned in time, in order to help himself in the future if necessary.

Who will be accompanying you on this journey?

George Adam, my son.