Thursday 28 July 2016


            She was born in Dvinsk (Daugavpils), Latvia.  She received a Jewish and a secular education.  She later became a bookkeeper.  After the Germans under Hitler occupied Latvia in 1941, she was confined in the Dvinsk and the Riga ghettos, from which she was deported in 1944 to the Stutthof death camp.  By a fortunate turn of events, she was sent from there to work in a factory in Thorn (Toruń), where she survived until liberation in 1945.  She remained in Germany until 1947 and then moved to Canada.  From 1953 to 1957, she lived in Israel.  In 1946 she began writing her memoirs from the ghetto years, which appeared in book form under the title Heftling numer 94771, iberlebenishn in daytshe lagern (Prisoner number 94771, experiences in German camps) (Montreal, 1949), 175 pp., with an introduction by Melekh Ravitsh.  Aside from historical documentation, this book also has a literary value thanks to the unmediated descriptions full of numerous impressions of the tragic events, and—as noted by M. Ravitsh—it is a voice in the Jewish chorus that accuses the world for the suffering of the Jewish people.  She was last living in Mexico City.

Sources: M. Ravitsh, introduction to Heftling numer 94771 (Montreal, 1949) pp. 3-4; Y. Bashevis, in Forverts (New York) (January 5, 1950); Y. Yonasovitsh, in Unzer veg (Munich) (April 14, 1950); Di naye tsayt (Buenos Aires) 234 (1953); M. Elkin, in Yorbukh (Annual) (New York, 1950/1951), p. 76.

1 comment:

  1. Paula Frenkel Zalzman was my great aunt. She lived with my grandparents in Montreal after she had spent several months at the Föhrenwald Displaced Person's camp near Munich after the War. I am currently writing and researching a book about this remarkable woman. You can see my progress and other related posts at