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Magda Brown - World War II

Magda (Perlstein) Brown was born in 1927 and raised in Miskolc, Hungary, growing up in a happy and loving home. Her world was shattered, however, when the Nazis first herded her family into a Jewish ghetto, then shipped the entire family to the Auschwitz- Birkenau concentration camp in Poland. Her parents and many other relatives perished there, but Magda was sent to Allendorf, Germany where she worked as a slave laborer in a munitions factory. As the allies approached, she was forced into a death march to a new location but managed to escape and was discovered in a barn by American troops. She immigrated to the United States after the war and settled in the Chicago area. In the 2000s Magda dedicated her life to speaking out on the Holocaust.

Interview Links

Abstract

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Photos

Caption

“The Family Deli Shop” in , 1934. Pictured are Regina Schwartz Perlstein (Magda’s mother), Jozef Perlstein (Magda’s father), and Sarah (Magda’s cousin). All three were murdered in the Holocaust.

Where:

Miskolc, Hungary

When:

1934

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The family’s deli shop in Miskolc, Hungary in 1938. Regina Schwartz Perlstein (Magda’s mother), and Jozef Perlstein (Magda’s father) both were murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland.

Where:

Miskolc, Hungary

When:

1938

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

“Just Like Every Other Young Girl. ” This photo of Magda Perlstein was taken on the occasion of her 8th grade graduation in Miskolc, Hungary in 1942.

Where:

Miskolc, Hungary

When:

1942

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Magda and friends a few months after liberation. This photo was taken in August, 1945. Magda, Eva Wohl, and Eva Fahidy all worked at Allendorf munitions plant.

Where:

Unknown

When:

August, 1945

Ownership:

Unknown

Caption

Magda Brown in 1958, taken in Chicago, Illinois.

Where:

Chicago, Illinois

When:

1958

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Madga Brown and her children, Bruce and Rochelle Brown, taken while they lived in Chicago, circa the early 1960s.

Where:

Chicago, Illinois

When:

1960s

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Dr. Leslie Schwartz (left), a patient and Magda in a Chicago, Illinois medical office in 1968. Magda worked as a certified medical assistant.

Where:

Chicago, Illinois

When:

1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Miklos Perlstein, Magda's brother, as he appeared in his passport photo. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1974.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1974

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Magda with her children, Rochelle Brown-Rainey and Bruce Brown in Skokie, Illinois in 1989.

Where:

Skokie, Illinois

When:

1989

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The entrance to in infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp near Oświęcim, Poland.

Where:

Oświęcim, Poland

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Magda Brown (left) and her friends Olga Wohl, and Eva Fahidy forty-five years after they all worked at the Allendorf, Germany ammunition plant as slave laborers. They reunited in Budapest, Hungary in 1992.

Where:

Budapest, Hungary

When:

1992

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Magda’s family gathered in Skokie for this 1994 photo. Magda is in the back, with Jessica Rainey (granddaughter), Bob Brown (husband), Amy Rainey (granddaughter), Rochelle Brown-Rainey (daughter), and Charlie Rainey (son-in-law).

Where:

Skokie, Illinois

When:

1994

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo



Caption

Magda Brown, in a formal portrait taken in Chicago, Illinois in 2006.

Where:

Chicago, Illinois

When:

2006

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Magda met Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago when she was a speaker on the city’s Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2006.

Where:

Chicago, Illinois

When:

2006

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Brother and sister reunited. Miklos Perlstein (Magda’s brother), and Magda met in Budapest, Hungary in 2009.

Where:

Budapest, Hungary

When:

2009

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Magda met Illinois’s Governor Pat Quinn at Springfield’s Old State Capitol when Magda was the speaker at Illinois’s Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2009.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

2009

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Magda Brown received an Honorary Doctorate from Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois on May 5, 2013.

Where:

Aurora, Illinois

When:

May 5, 2013

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Magda holds a Czechoslovakian Torah while visiting the Jewish Community Center in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in March, 2014.

Where:

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

When:

March, 2014

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Magda gives her testimony about the horrors of the Holocaust to a new generation of Americans. This talk was given in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in March, 2014.

Where:

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

When:

March, 2014

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo



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