- Luba Szlatkowska was born in Ozorkuw, a suburb of Lodz, Poland to Hersh and Bina Szlatkowski. Her father owned a barber shop.
- Luba Szlatkowska attended public school. She was in the 6th grade when the Nazis invaded. In school she had some non Jewish friends.
- As the Germans prepared to settle in they commandeered her house for the Army. Her father was killed.
- The rest of the family was sent to the Lodz ghetto. Her mother and 9 children (she had taken along her nephews and nieces whose parents were also killed) occupied one room. Luba Szlatkowska was sent to slave labor and given the job of making boots for German soldiers. Her sister was sent to repair telephones for the Germans.
- These were considered essential jobs and as a result they were the
last group to leave the ghetto to be transported to Auschwitz.
- When they arrived in Auschwitz, Mengele segregated this group and kept them in a separate area because their specialized skills were needed for work to support the German war effort. They did not have their hair cut and were not put in uniforms because they were to be taken out to work for the Siemens company and had to look like normal workers.
- Once they were no longer needed they were put in the “Schwachshtrum Abteilung” in Birkenau. They were at the mercy of an infamous and cruel SS prison guard named Irma Grace (?) They saw the crematorium where 5000 people were killed every day. Her mother became one such victim.
- Luba Szlatkowska and her group were put on a train and movedn from camp to camp. This is why she survived Auschwitz.
- Eventually she wound up in Bergen Belsen and got very sick with typhus. There was no water or medication. She was lying on the barrack floor surrounded by other such ill women who died one after another around her. She realized that she would be next to die and could not move when her cousin Minnie came into the barrack to announce that they were being liberated and that she should come out to see the parachutes coming in. Luba
answered “can’t you see I’m dying?” Minnie’s response was “ see this first, you can die tomorrow”.
- After liberation, Luba met and married a man who was the nephew of the Gerer rebbe. They had a daughter and a son. They lived in Germany for 8 years waiting for an exit visa. Eventually, they were sent to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Jews in Argentina did not believe their stories about the Holocaust and treated them with suspicion. Eventually they stopped talking about it altogether. They lived in Argentina for 36 years but the Holocaust came to them in two other ways. One day in a local café, Luba Slatkowska Kaminer saw a young and good looking man drinking coffee at another table. It was Mengele. She left in fear knowing that if she told the police about
this she would be the one that would be punished.
- It was also in the suburb next to hers that Eichmann (who had been working in a light fixture factory) was captured and kidnapped by Israeli’s to stand trial Israel. The Argentinians were outraged by this act and there was anti-Israel screaming in the streets. Luba and other Jews were afraid to go out of their homes.