Stories of Dachau Survivors

Miriam Rosenthal

According to an article by Cynthia Gasner, published in The Canadian Jewish News on May 9, 2007, Miriam Schwarcz Rosenthal is a survivor of the Holocaust who was liberated from the Dachau main camp, along with her infant son Leslie.

Miriam Schwarcz was born into a wealthy Orthodox Jewish family in Komarno, Czechoslovakia in 1922. In 1938, after Germany, Hungary and Poland all invaded Czechoslovakia, Komarno became part of Hungary when Czechoslovakia ceased to exist. Hungary refused to deport their Jews, but in March 1944, Germany invaded Hungary and the deportation of the Hungarian Jews began in April.

Miriam had just become engaged to William Rosenthal who lived in Miskolc, Hungary. They had planned a large elegant wedding and everything was ordered and ready, according to the article written by Cynthia Gasner. On April 5, 1944, Miriam slipped into Miskolc, disguised as a non-Jew wearing a cross and carrying false papers. That night Miriam and William were wed and the next day, the Germans invaders entered Miskolc.

Miriam was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in May 1944; in order to escape the selection for the gas chamber, she had to hide the fact that she was pregnant. She was transferred to Augsberg, Germany to work in a Messerschmitt airplane factory. When the Germans eventually discovered that she was pregnant, she was sent, along with six other pregnant Hungarian Jewish women, to one of the eleven Kaufering sub-camps near Landsberg am Lech. All seven of the women gave birth and were later evacuated, along with their babies, to the main Dachau camp.

After the war, Miriam went back to Komarno and she and William were reunited. William had survived a forced labor camp.

The following is a quote from the article by Cynthia Gasner in The Canadian Jewish News:

The three Rosenthals came to Canada in 1947, leaving behind remnants of their families. William worked stuffing mattresses in Toronto. Two years later, someone heard William daven at shul and asked if he would come to Timmins to serve as rabbi and religious teacher there. Their daughter Lillian was born in the northern Ontario town.

The following year, they moved to Sudbury, where William also served as rabbi and where their third child, Murray, was born. In 1956, they moved back to Toronto to give their children a Jewish environment and education. They opened Miriam's Fine Judaica shortly after their return to the city.

The couple now have seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Mothers with babies in Dachau


This page was last updated on March 3, 2009