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ASSOCIATION OF ROMANIAN JEWS
VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST


Oliver Lustig

 
Oliver Lustig is a survivor of the concentration camp Birkenau-Auschwitz. Based on his testimony, here are a few highlights of the incredible ordeal he and his family went through.
 
"I was born in Romania, in the village of Soimeni, district of Cluj (a part of Northern Transylvania which at the end of August 1940 was annexed to Hungary under the Horthy Government).
 
In the early hours of May 3, 1944, in all villages and townships across Northern Transylvania, Horthy gendarme troops pounded with their boots and rifles on the door of every Jewish household. Within a few minutes, flimsily dressed, the frightened Jews were listening to their sentence in a single overcrowded room. The chief gendarme, more yelling than talking, declared that we had been arrested, stressing that whoever moved without permission would be liquidated on the spot... like a dog I will shoot him.
Next day at dawn, carrying all our belongings in our arms, we climbed into carts pulled by oxes and the convoy surrounded by gendarmes started moving toward the Cluj ghetto. On the 6th of June, with the fifth lot from the Cluj ghetto, our entire family was deported. Three nights and four days later, on the 9th of June - the train stopped for good on the "Death Ramp" of Birkenau-Auschwitz.
Myself (who was not yet 18), my brother Emilian (16) and my father Edmund (45) were sent to camp "E," barrack 19. After a few days, my father was sent to Mauthausen, from where he never returned. My brother Emilian and I were relocated to barrack 21, the so-called "Kinder Block" (the Children's Barrack).
My eldest sister Eva, age 19, stayed only a few weeks at Birkenau, at the women's detention center "C". Later, her ordeal continued through the concentration camps of Kaiserwald, Dundaga, Stutthof, and Malchow from where she was liberated by the american army.
At the end of September 1944, my brother Emilian and I were sent to successive K.Z.s subordinated to the Dachau central, starting with Kaufering 4, 9, then back to 4, and finally Landsberg. As long as I was in Birkenau camp "E", same as thousands of other 'Häftlings', I was not registered. When I walked through the gate of camp "E", we were counted and that number was added to the number of prisoners already inhabiting in the camp.
Now, on the day of my arrival to the Kaufering 4 camp, I at last became an individual once again: I became 'Häftling' nr. 112398, and my country of origin was noted in the record. I was freed on April 27, 1945."

***

Upon his return from the deportation, the youngster Oliver Lustig completed that same year (1945) the last grade of high school, which he had missed due to the deportation. After passing the required exams, he attended the University of Cluj, "Economy Sciences" division. A few years after his graduation, he earned his PhD in Economy.
In the interim, he started working as a journalist for the military. He retired from the military with the degree of general-major.
Apart from with professional duties, he dedicated his entire career to preserving the memory of the events experienced during his youth, as eloquently reflected in the title of one of his volumes: "Once upon a time ... over there ... at Auschwitz".
Mr. Lusting is a member of the Writers Union in Romania. He continues to write and, above all, strives to instill in the young generation (as well as their educators) the duty of always preserving the memory of the millions of innocent victims of the Holocaust, so that this unique and indescribable tragedy may never repeat itself.

Fragments from the volume "SURVIVORS RESPOND"

This volume features questions of the general public, sometimes sharp and polemic, answered by Holocaust survivors during meetings, seminars and other educational activities centered on the theme of the Romanian Holocaust.
In his responses, Oliver Lusting addresses the gruesome and unimaginable realities of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

 

THE TRIAL OF THE NORTHERN TRANSYLVANIA GHETTOS

  • This is Mr. Lustig's latest volume, based on the testimonies of Holocaust victims from Northern Transylvania and the associated juridic documents. The English translation is still pending at this time.

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