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

I was born in Piscolt, Romania; (04.06.1925- I live in Berlin)

mother: Benedek (b. Sichermann) Maria (07.02.1901-d. Auschwitz 1944)

father: Benedek Stefan (10.01.1893-d. Auschwitz 1944)

Sisters: Benedek Alice (1932 – d. Auschwitz 1944)

Frish Edith       (b. Bedendek) (1922 – d. in Tel Aviv)

Lehrer Agneta (b. Benedek) (23.03.1927- live in Tel Aviv)


04.06.1925 – 19.04.1944 -I lived in Piscolt, went to school there and in Oradea.

20.04.1944 – 01.05.1944 -deportation in the Ghetto in Oradea, Romania

02.05.1944 – 13.09.1944 -deportation to Nazi German Concentration and Extermination Camp Auschwitz

14.09.1944 – 25.05.1945 -forced labor in Oberhohenelbe (Czech Rep., 

ca 130 km from Prague), Lorenz II-Factory, 

(13 working hours/ day)

26.05.1945 – liberation by the Russian army in Oberhohenelbe

26.05.1945 – 08.06.1945 -_I „moved“ in another „better“ barrack for a few days in Oberhohenelbe

09.06.1945 -1948 -I went home to Piscolt 

30.12. 1948 – 1949 -I get married and moved to Tirgu Mures

1949  – 1953 -we moved to Sighisoara with my husband.

1953 – 1989 -we moved to Sibiu with my husband

1989  – until now -we moved to Berlin, where my son was living as a refugee from the communist regime of Ceausescu

My dear husband: Stefan Adam, Manager of a textile factory, died 2002.

My only son: George A.,  independent architect, (64) 

Two grandchildren: Robert (28) and Georgetta (11), eight: nieces & nephew

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 ordert o help himself in the future if necessary.

Who will be accompanying you on this journey?

George Adam, my son.