Holocaust Speaker Series

Sandy Kaltman

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Sandy tells the story of her mother and Holocaust survivor, Roma Kaltman. Roma was born in Lodz, Poland in 1926. She was 13 years old when Nazi Germany invaded her homeland. Roma and her family were forced into the Lodz ghetto in October, where she lived for five years. Roma’s brother, Simon, worked in the ghetto’s Bureau of Vital Statistics which helped him provide for the family after their mother died of malnutrition.

In August 1944, Lodz was liquidated and Roma was sent to Auschwitz. Here she spent about seven to eight weeks. Roma her sister, Rozalia, and friend, Danka, were then sent from Auschwitz to Stutthof. Once the Allies advanced towards Stutthof, the Nazis forced all prisoners out of the camp onto a death march. They walked for about a week when finally Roma, Rozalia, and Danka escaped the death march by rolling into a ravine alongside the road. Turning their coats inside out so that they could not be identified as escapees, they wandered into a town called Putzik. They stayed in Putzik for several months, recovering from typhoid. They then began their trip home to Lodz to look for surviving family.

A few years later, Roma was reunited with her boyfriend Sam, from the Lodz ghetto. They married and came to live in Cincinnati. Roma earned her Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Cincinnati.