"'Write, Jewish Children!'
('Schreibts, Jidische Kinder!') were supposedly Simon Dubnovís,
the famous Jewish historianís, last words from the death-train before it
left the railway station of Riga."
Survival is an autobiography in which the author relates her
experiences and her struggle to survive during her captivity as a young,
18-year-old girl in the three German concentration camps: Auschwitz,
Bremen, and Bergen-Belsen.
"Before us now is her 'magnum opus' called Survival. Magda
Herzberger describes in her book the fight between life and death. It is
a 'death-dance' (known as 'Totentanz'). The naked reality of the
death camps is before our eyes. Total lack of compassion, inhumanity,
and despotic harshness is the daily reality of her and her fellow
inmates. Magda Herzberger looks in vain for human understanding among
her captors. In that unbelievable hell, she finds human voices only in
her sensitive heart. She prays. She believes in a better future."
Survival gives an insight into the author's childhood and
adolescent years, where the concept of anything like this happening was
beyond belief. The reader finds out about her family background and the
historical events that took place in her native city in Romania/Hungary
during that time. The political changes which occurred during World War
II played a crucial role in her destiny and the fate of the Jewish
Magda also conveys how she coped with the grief and pain of losing so
many members of her family, including her father, in the Holocaust. Then
she speaks about her gradual recovery from the wounds of the Holocaust
and her ultimate reunion with her mother.
Magda's poetry is included in the book.
All quotes are from the Foreword by Dr. Moshe Carmilly-Weinberger.