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Helen Waterford was born Herta Katz to a Jewish family in Offenbach, Germany, and grew up in Frankfurt. In 1933, she married Siegfried Wohlfarth. When the Nazi regime forced Siegfried out of his job and Helen out of university, they fled to The Netherlands, where their daughter was born in 1937. After Nazi Germany invaded the country in May 1940 in World War II, Helen and her husband sent their daughter to non-Jewish friends and went into hiding. They stayed in a variety of places arranged by a friend working with the Dutch underground. In 1944, Helen and her husband were captured and sent first to the Westerbork detention camp and then to Auschwitz, where they were separated and her husband died. Helen was then sent to Kratzau, a work camp in Poland, but she survived, and was liberated by the Red Army. After the war, she was reunited with her daughter and they emigrated to the USA. She wrote her memoirs and toured the USA giving lecturers about her experiences during the Holocaust. Her book Commitment to the Dead: One Woman’s Journey toward Understanding, was published in 1987. See also Parallel Journeys (1995) by Eleanor H. Ayer.
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