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USF Libraries Exhibits

Rachel Nurman


Holocaust Survivor

Rachel Nurman (1926-2012) was born in Poland and lived with her family in a Warsaw suburb. In 1940 the family was sent to the Warsaw Ghetto, where Nurman and her brother belonged to one of the resistance organizations. Nurman was removed from the ghetto and sent to a nearby farm, where she worked for almost two years; this saved her from being deported to Treblinka. Most of the ghetto's inmates had already been deported by the time she returned. Nurman then went to Majdanek, where she was a prisoner for six weeks, and from there to Auschwitz, where she stayed for a year and a half. While at Auschwitz, she worked at the crematorium, sorting the bundles of clothing. As the Soviets approached the camp, Nurman was moved to Bergen-Belsen, where she was liberated by the British Army. From there she went to a displaced persons camp for two years, where she met her husband. They then immigrated to the United States. In 1981, Nurmanwas a witness at the Majdanek Trial, testifying against Hermine Braunsteiner-Ryan.