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Before the War
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I. Satu Mare, Romania
I was born in the small town Satu Mare in northern Transylvania, Romania. It was close to the Hungarian border, near the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. It was a quiet town of approximately fifty thousand people of mixed ethnic backgrounds, mainly Hungarians and Romanians. Our family was Hungarian and spoke Hungarian at home, but most of the population spoke some Romanian. In 1940, Hitler ordered the Romanians to give the richest part of Transylvania back to Hungary. Overnight we all became Hungarians.

From that point on, conditions for the Jewish population became progressively worse. Laws no longer protected us. Jews were beaten and abused on the streets, in our homes and even in our synagogues. Workplaces were limited to us. Our businesses were taken over by non-Jews. Our bank accounts were confiscated without recourse. Our young men were taken away to do forced labour in the Hungarian army. Only the women, children, old people and the ill remained. We became open prey to everyone. We were completely defenceless.
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Bill's Map
I. Satu Mare, Romania
II. Auschwitz & Muhldorf
III. At Liberation
IV. Life as a Refugee
V. Sailing to Canada
VI. Becoming Canadian
Hitler, Adolf (1889-1945)
Founder of the German Nazi party and its leader from 1919 until 1945. Hitler became Chancellor of the Third Reich from 1933-45. He outlined his plans for territorial conquest and expressed his hatred for Jews in his autobiography Mein Kampf written in 1923. On January 30, 1942 Hitler set in motion the destruction and murder of six million Jews. He committed suicide in an underground bunker in Berlin on April 30, 1945.
Jew/Jewish
Someone of the Hebrew or Jewish people. Someone who is either born or converts to Judaism, which is the religion, philosophy and way of life of the Jewish People.
Synagogue
A building or place of worship for those of the Jewish faith. A congregation of Jews for the purpose of worship or religious study.