Susan Weiss
Gift of Susan Welber
Id no. 1182.91, Artwork
Created by:  Manci Anis
Manci Anis sketched Susan Weiss in Soemmerda, a subcamp of Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany.

In Sommerda, both Weiss and Anis were forced to labor in a factory, making parts for U-boats. Anis often clandestinely sketched the prisoners and SS men using found or stolen paper and pencils. In this portrait, Weiss has tied her hair back with a strip of cloth ripped from the hem of her uniform, an example of the resourcefulness exercised by many of the prisoners. She hid the drawing under a mattress or under her arm.

Weiss was born in 1923 in Velky Berezny, Czechoslovakia. She, her parents, brother Alexander, and sister Ruthi were deported to the Uzhorod (Ungvar) Ghetto and then taken to Auschwitz. At Auschwitz, Wiess and her sister Ruthi were separated from the rest of the family. They saw their mother enter the gas chamber before they were transported to forced labor camps.

Towards the end of the war, as the Allies approached the Soemmerda camp (a work camp that imprisoned about 1,300 women, mainly Hungarian Jews), the forced labors were made to march away from the camps as Allied bombs fell nearby. After weeks of marching, Weiss and her sister escaped the death march by hiding in a ditch with other prisoners. They then met American soldiers who arranged for them to stay in a hotel. After the war ended, the sisters returned to Velky Berezny only to learn that the rest of their family had not survived. Weiss got married and moved with her husband and sister to the US in December 1946.
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