No matter the color of a person’s skin or his or her religious beliefs, no one should be discriminated against, a holocaust survivor said Monday evening in the Student Center Ballroom.Rosalie Schiff, a speaker for the Dallas Holocaust Museum, addressed an audience of students, faculty and members of the Fort Worth community about her experiences during the Holocaust.
Schiff shared a number of events that she witnessed while in various concentration camps and ghettos during her imprisonment.
“A knife was put into a pregnant woman’s stomach,” Schiff said. “Children and babies were thrown from the third floor of windows and held by their feet and slammed against the wall.”
Schiff said she remembers the streets being covered with blood and dead bodies and having to sleep in bunk beds full of lice.
Schiff, the eldest of three siblings, was born in Krakow, Poland, and is the only surviving member of her family.
While in a concentration camp, her mother discovered she had breast cancer and was forced to get her breast removed with no anesthesia, Schiff said.
Schiff said the most horrible night of her life was when the Nazis took her family away. Many nights she said she stayed awake thinking about how they killed her mother and wondered if they teased her because of her appearance.
Schiff said it is still hard to relive each story when she shares her experiences with an audience – something she has been doing for 19 years.
“Sometimes I feel guilty that I am the one that is still here to tell the story,” Schiff said.
Schiff married her husband, William, in 1942 in the Karkow ghetto, two weeks after her mother’s death. Schiff and her husband have three children and four grandchildren.
Jacqueline Powell, a senior psychology major, said that someone persevering through such hardship and oppression is beyond incredible.
“Anyone who can survive something like this is like an angel to me,” Powell said. “And the fact that both her and her husband survived I think is a miracle.”
Tiffany Bullock, a freshman history major, said the Holocaust shows people what hate can do to a group of people.
“It’s remarkable how she is able to embrace mankind and not be bitter after what she went through,” Bullock said.