Survivors' Stories

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

Yvonne Engelman

  • From: Czechoslovakia (Dohve)
  • Liberated from: Poland (Peterswaldan)
  • Deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau from: Czechoslovakia (Berehove)
  • Current Location: Australia (Sydney)

Brief Bio

Before the war I was an only child who lived in a country town. We were an Orthodox family and lived happily in the town. During the war everything changed drastically. My whole family was turned upside down. I lost my whole family. I was the only survivor. I promised my father I would survive and I did. After the Shoah I managed to rebuild my life. I moved to Australia, married, had three children, and now have 9 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren and still counting.  I have never forgotten my past and am actively involved in the Jewish Holocaust Museum, telling my story to school children of all ages. I am making a difference. My voice is heard. 

What does Auschwitz mean to you?

I have survived the hell that I went through and am able to lead a normal life. It does not define me but I Will never forget the horrors it game me. It is a place of true hell but it should never be forgotten and should always remain as a historical record of what can happen. 

My message for future generations is…

The only way to perpetuate the memory of the six million murdered is to tell our stories and make sure that the second and third generation keep our memory alive and tell our stories. 

Who will be accompanying you on this journey?

My 3 children, their partners and 2 grandchildren.