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Sophie Miklos (1927–2007)

Author of Paper Gauze Ballerina

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Sophie Weisz Miklos was born to a prosperous Jewish family in the small town of Valea Lui Mihai, in the Transylvania region of Romania. She attended school in the city of Oradea Mare. In 1944, when she was 16 years old, Sophie and her family and many other Jews were forced into the Oradea Ghetto and then deported to the death camp at Auschwitz. In August 1944, she and her older sister Agnes and their mother were sent 400 miles north to Stutthof on the Baltic coast for forced labor. At Christmas, they and other Jews were forced to entertain German soldiers. Sophie danced to the music of the ballet Coppelia in a costume made from paper and gauze. This puppet-like performance earned her extra food that she shared with her sister. During a forced march in 1945, as the Red Army approached, the two young women managed to escape. They survived the war, and in 1949 they emigrated to the USA. Sophie married Andrew Miklos, a Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor, with whom she had a daughter. She became an elementary school teacher and later retired with her husband to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. She kept a journal for nearly all her life and worked on her memoirs for nearly 40 years. Her book Paper Gauze Ballerina: Memoir of a Holocaust Survivor was first published in 1997.
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