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THE JEW WHO REFUSED TO DIE: The woman who survived 3 concentration camps has lived to be over 100

  • Klara Markus, 100, survived three Holocaust concentration camps
  • She escaped Auschwitz gas chambers because Nazis ran out of gas
  • The Romanian mother-of-two is preparing for her 101st birthday

A Jewish woman who escaped the gas chambers of Auschwitz is preparing to celebrate her 101st birthday

Klara Markus, 100, from Sighetu Marmaţiei, in Maramureş in northern Romania, survived three Holocaust concentration camps before the Second World War was over.

Mrs Markus, who had been imprisoned in Dachau and Ravensbruck before being sent to Auschwitz, survived the Nazi German camp in occupied Poland because the Nazis ran out of gas.


Pic shows: Klara Marcus who survived a Nazi gas chamber is preparing to celebrate her 101st birthday. A woman who survived a Nazi gas chamber because it ran out of gas is preparing to celebrate her 101st birthday. Klara Marcus, 100, from the town of Sighetu Marmatiej in the northern Romanian county of Maramures was captured in 1944 and sent to the infamous Nazi death camp Auschwitz in southern Poland. Then aged 30, she was forced to strip naked along with hundreds of other women and marched into the gas chamber. She said: "I was chosen towards the end of the day with a large group of other women and we were made ready for the gas chamber. "But when they put us inside and went to turn the gas on, they found they had run out. "One of the guards joked that it was our lucky day because they had already killed so many they didn’t have any gas left for us. "God was watching over me that day." She said that realising she had nothing to lose she had taken her life in her hands and managed to escape before they called for her again. She said: "After I got free I managed to make my way back to my home to look for my family." It was then that she found that they too had gone and she had to rebuild her life alone. In celebration of her upcoming birthday on January 1st, government representative Anton Rohian turned up at her home. He said: "I brought you a bunch of flowers, a bottle of champagne and an excellency diploma to thank you because you’ve returned to Maramures after all you’ve been through. "It’s important not to forget what happened in the past." Kissing the Romanian flag, Klara said: "I’ve had terrible experiences in my life, but this is a wonderful moment." Over one million people were killed in Auschwitz which was liberated by the Red Army in January 1945. (ends)  

Mrs Markus was born Klara Schongut, on New Years Eve 1913, in Carei, Satu Mare County.

In August 1942, she was deported to a Jewish ghetto in Budapest, Hungary where she started work in an umbrella factory.

‘My mother and older sisters were taken directly to Auschwitz. I never saw them again,’ Klara Markus told a Romanian newspaper in 2010.

‘When I asked about them, SS members replied shortly: “Maybe, you should search for them in the smoke or ashes!” and they laughed.’

The mother-of-two remained in Budapest for another two years, before the Nazis ordered the remaining Jews in the city to march toward the concentration camps.



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