Sahbra Markus Surviving The Holocaust Part One





This is part one of an amazing interview series with Sahbra Markus, one of the youngest survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto and a phenomenal speaker. She tells her harrowing story of surviving the holocaust. She lost many of her friends and family. She was witness to a massive amount of suffering and pain. She details how people in the Ghetto helped each other any way they could. Her story is a true testament to how strong the human spirit truly is. It is a most important story not only so we never forget what happened but so we are reminded of how strong we can really be. You won’t want to miss a minute of this series. This episode is sponsored by Strength to Strength, a non-profit organization working with victims of terror globally. Learn more about them at  If you would like to sponsor an episode of Whispers & Bricks please send an email to Please make sure to include your name, company name, email address and phone number. 

Episode Transcription

Intro Plays

Ari: Today’s episode is being sponsored by strength to strength, a 501 c three nonprofit organization established to bring victims of terrorism together globally in order to share their experiences and move forward with their lives despite the trauma they have been through. If you understand how a single terror attack and affects so many families on such a deep level physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually, strength is strength has taken as their motto survivors healing survivors, recognizing that we are responsible for each other, and that those impacted by terrorism by injury or the loss of a loved one, deserve no less than our very best. For more information on strength or strength, please visit www dot s t o s That’s OSGLOBA and use code ra pod A Ri P O D

Welcome to Is Whispers and Bricks My name is Ari Schonbrun. I’m your host, I have an incredible guest who’s got an incredible incredible story. She I’m just gonna I’ll read her bio and and you’ll just you know you’ll you’ll get it. Believe me, you’ll get it sobre Anna Marcus, she’s one of the youngest survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto. She lived the life only those who have survived Hitler’s hell can imagine. In her book only a bad dream. She narrates the drama of her early years through her most vivid memories. Sabra courageously recounts those childhood experiences in her compelling voice. Now freed from the repeated warnings don’t tell anyone you’re a Jew. Don’t forget you’re a Jew. It was only a dream. Hang on tight to get lost and die. She tells us traipsing through forests at night, fleeing certain death of her parents hiding her in a church desperate to save her life. A frantic search for surviving family found the marks is traveling throughout Europe on foot by rowboat, military train, farm wagon trucks, and finally the ship Concerta that delivered them to the land of hope, freedom and new beginnings. The only Jewish homeland Israel, only a bad dream shares how in the midst of hunger and deprivation, cyber still found joy in simple things like cats, the moon, wolves and fireflies, a story of the triumph of the human spirit. This memoir provides strong insight into the courage, strength and dignity possessed by those who endured the Holocaust. Please help me welcome sobre Marcus sobre how are you?

Sahbra: Thank you. Well. Unfortunately, we’re very, very happy in Calgary. And I mean, very hard in every possible way. And temperature.

Ari: Well, you’re not alone, because it’s right now it’s a hot throughout the entire country throughout the US and through Canada. So, but my understanding is it’s only one more day, no three of three more days,

Sahbra:We get three of them. Oh, wow. Well, there you see, we’re always generous. We take as much as we can, and then we give it away. There we go. Can you guys generous, there we go. Thank you so much for having me.

Ari:It’s my pleasure. I think your story is very, very important. I’m glad that I’m going to be the one who’s going to record it, it’s going to be recorded for posterity. We need to get the stories out we need you know, the Holocaust survivors are you know, unfortunately, it’s been a long time and they’re dying out. And we’re losing those stories. And it’s so important to get those stories out. And so I’m so happy that you have agreed to come on my show and tell your story. Now as you know, you know my my podcast is called whispers and bricks. And it’s basically the whispers of the good things in life. You know the things that we follow our heart with and you know, they represent the good life. The bricks or the bad things that happen to us in life. Now my brick again was, you know, 911 I got hit with a major brick 911 I was in the building as you know. But your bricks were are just unfathomable, unfathomable, I’m not going to do I’m going to do very, very little talking on this episode. Because this is all about you. It’s about your story. So if you please. Alright, start from anywhere that you want, finish wherever you want. Okay, but please tell us your story.

I’d like to mention to verify a point you just made. The word was spoken by le de sel. I had the great honor of having mentioned several times. And when I said early, this is too difficult. I can’t keep writing. It’s taken you ages and years. Every time I get to some horrific episodes, the pain and the tears go on for weeks and months and I can’t write. He says, Oh, yes, you can and you will. We are dying. And now he’s gone. The words you’re not going to use now will be lost forever. Speak, right? Finish your book. It was his encouragement on three different occasions that finally gave me that needed shake. When your whole body gets shaken up, you shake your head and you say, What is wrong with you? Do it. He said do it nip the nose said do it. Who do you want to come down the Almighty in person and say do it? I say Yeah, well, you know, come to think of it. That would be some kind of encouragement to the computer immediately.

Now, just before you begin just before you begin, again, the name of the book. Only a bad dream. Only a bad dream with a question mark. Right. And it’s available where?

Sahbra: But it’s also the subtitle is childhood memories of a Holocaust survivor.

Ari: And where is it available? Where can people buy it?

Sahbra: Amazon Okay, only a bad dream. You’re gonna, you’re gonna want to pick this book up. Okay, I’m sorry. Please continue.

I would like to start a story with an episode that took place someplace. I’ve made myself a few notes. Because you know, when you keep talking, you don’t want to misrepresent a particular date. Dates are important. I am guesstimating that this event must have taken place somewhere in 1850 to 1880 somewhere in that neighborhood. The story came to me from my father. The men that love to tell stories, but they only reached the Second World War. And only a few stories from that period. And the rest of the time and the rest of the stories and the history. Mama and Papa became mute. I had to pull literally pool begging and pleading and crying to try and get some information about our history. This one he told freely because he thought it was comical. I don’t see much comedy in it. But then my father liked to be in a in a state of mind and heavy around him of comfort. Love, courtesy hope for the future. The story starts as I said about 1850 1880 Somewhere in there. Again, I also don’t know the they did the exact geography. It could have taken place somewhere in the heart of Russia or in the heart of Poland. Papa wasn’t sure. And the story is really quite interesting. Military was grabbing Jewish kids to put them as fodder in the front lines. So if anyone needs to cross me ugly lines where there is a great deal of military, you send all the Jews first in all the front lines, and then it’s the poet’s and the Russians. And so they went from village to village from town to town, grabbing those Jewish kids, loading them up on wagons, and taking them to wherever the barracks, were preparing them, they might have even taught them how to shoot and gave them guns, not all dead, but they did. And so my great, great, great grandfather, whoever he was said to his son, we need to hide you somewhere. They are going to come the military will come. And they’re going to insist that you will be taken into the military. And you will be sent to the frontlines where no Jewish kids ever come back. And my, his son, that was the eldest boy, excuse me, he was of the age. And he said, You know what, I heard a story that came from some city not far from where they lived. So the Jewish man had a gimmick. If you hide them, they find you they shoot you right on the spot. But if you don’t have a trigger finger, you’re useless to the military. So many of the Jewish boys, it became the new game in town. Papa, we have to get the butcher we have to get the Moyale we have to get one of those people and cut off the trigger finger. And some cut off those trigger fingers, right arm and left arm. Both hands all of a sudden didn’t have this finger. They were gone.

And so this great, great, great, great grandfather looked at him and he said, to name yourself, cut off your right trigger finger. He says what cannot be useless to them. Baba. Let me do it. And his father thought about it and thought about it. He said, Give me a few minutes. Like I think I have a better solution. No, you’re not going to main yourself. You’re going to Warsaw. Warsaw. Why would I go to war. So we have concerns. We have cousins everywhere. So They sneaked him out of the city into a wagon with a great deal of merchandise that was going to worship. He was hidden underneath. And it was going to take days and days and days to get there.

By but he stayed in that wagon. They arrived in Warsaw and by God that’s exactly what happened. cousins in Warsaw took him in the look looked at him they said you can dress like this and stain wersal You looked like you just came from the steps.

So immediately a new wardrobe was given to him from one of the cousins. And he said, Have you ever been to a city like Warsaw? And he said no. He said have you seen the glory of war so no ticket tomorrow? I will introduce you to your new home. Warsaw says you know I love singing and I love acting. He said no I know nothing of you in the family. So I started telling him stories. And he says what I really don’t know for sure is What is your name? He said same as your name. same last name. Marcos Mar KU last Mark And my father said that his great, great, great, great cousin said to his own cousin in the war, so that’s not good at all. But if they find out that I have relatives in wars was one of the Military Times. And that cousin said, Well, what you want to do? He says calm. You said it’s a big city. And you said you’d like to sing and dance and act. Yeah. So do you have a theater district? We do. So they go for a visit to the theater district. And that great, great, great, great cousin of ours is looking at the marquee of every theater with the names of all the actors. Sorry, I misspoke. The name was not the name that I just used. That wasn’t Marcus. Marcus is the name he saw on the marquee. He said who is this? One of the most famous actors in Poland? His name is Marcus. See, ma RK us. Well, what’s your name? He says same as yours. He says same as mine. He says I’m your cousin, drummer. And then looks at my father work. What’s a bronzer job? He says that’s who we are. I am a Bloomberg. He said yes. If you go back to 1857 I don’t want to go back that far. I’m happy right here. I said what happened? He says Marcus was never found. And Marcus had a wonderful life in Warsaw and had a wife and children and had been registered as a Marcus voice. Marcus no less. Can you get a new more go? Yes. The name my father carries versus my father was balls markers in Hebrew is in the air, which is the word for wolves in Hebrew. I said so what happened to Blumberg? Did we lose track of Brumberg? He said Bronco doesn’t exist because when that became Marcus, where they never go home? Well, no. You could never go home. At any of his family ever visit him? No, no, because he no longer existed. Valuable Brumberg disappeared from the face of the earth. Broomberg disappeared. There was no contact. Our history starts with this. Make Believe markers. And then his children traveled and married throughout different parts of Poland. And that’s where my youth Hawk Merkel’s Yakov Marcus is my great grandfather. Yak of my uncle’s his son, Yitzhak Marcos, is the father of my dad.

And say, Papa than you telling me I have no clue who I am. Well, you’re a Marcus. I said, No. I’m nice. I am the daughter of great great granddaughter of the Polish genius of an actor. Maybe the name influence technique to go into showbusiness. That’s why I danced and act in films. He says they do. Already we have a history. I said no farther. I need the truth. Several, why can’t you leave well enough alone? I said because now it’s not well, and it’s not enough. It’s not the truth. How do I get the truth? He says, Well, one of the things you love more than anything else is science fiction. Get yourself a machine. Take a small trip. To 1850 Find Romberg in that small town have a chat. So, every time I watch any of the science fiction movies, I could say, can I borrow that machine for a minute? I need a quick trip. You know, whoever is hurt. I have to tell you, all your nice people. This is one of the few from humorous stories. My life has been a story of questions. Where did this happen? When did that happened? Why? Why? Why would you torture and torment abuse? About low else? They were children. Why would you do this to small children. This is why I have that subtitle of childhood memories of the Holocaust. It is inconceivable to me that these small creatures God gave us to care for to be used as as punching bags, or something to give you pleasure to the sadistic people of that era. And when people say that, Oh, yeah, it was the Nazis. And no, no, it wasn’t only the Nazis. It was all of Europe. It was every country in Europe. Everybody participated, do not make me choose, you will be very disappointed. Start my stories to you. With the origin again. This time, it’s still in Warsaw, Poland in the capital. My mother and father came from elsewhere. They came my mother came from judging. In Poland, a city in Poland. And my dad is from Austroads muscle via the kind of region of masovia and the city is Austroads. I’m not too sure what they’re known for. The only one I was able to find some decent research was about my mother city. Judging, it was one of the two top cities in all of Poland is at war. The smarter business, the fashion industry of Poland. That’s where all the best tailors fashion designers. Those that produced mass production for the country of wardrobes, and decided on quality decided on actual fashion. And so most of the Jews were involved in that field most my mother’s family not only had a few shops, where they did the sewing, the designing, they also had a store of hardware, where they supplied machinery and any form of equipment to the farms in, in around judging to the farmers. They also owned land which was against the law. But they were able to do that because they had put the names of Gentiles on the land. And they allowed the Gentiles to live on the land, work the land and get a very nice percentage of the income. But they were still able to own the land until of course Hitler came when everything was gone. Some of the people that clicked on that land and worked on it for generations. From the story I have from my parents, that my mother’s family We live in and within around the area for over 400 years. Wow. So it’s not as if they came last week and we’re trying to move in and take over. They’ve been there forever my mother, his father, my grandfather Heinemeier was a hard working man, a brilliant man studied with the house of like stare originator of Hasidic movement. Call Center. Yeah. Yeah. He studied in that. Hetero, he was given Hector Ururoa, which means he was given permission to teach. He was such a brilliant student. And, of course, he had a big family, he had a wife and he had businesses. And so he was postponing his acceptance of the rabbinic title. He kept saying, let’s do it next year. Let’s do it next year. Unfortunately, next year and next year, didn’t come. At the age of 35. In the prime of his life. He suddenly died of a heart attack. He was gone. Grandma was devastated. And of course, four daughters and a young, very young son, the only son that was going to your Shiva and studying. He was going to be the rabbi. His dad didn’t succeed in becoming because of his name. That young man was a How old is everyone called him? He was a handsome, gorgeous, gorgeous young man. I have photos to prove it with some very cute photos. Small sensible mama had sewn into the bottom of her coat. It was a very very shaky time in Poland. The Nazis showed up. They came in with their planes. I am speaking the words of my father, may you rest in peace. They came with their planes they flew into Warsaw and before more so had a chance to get their air force and gear. The German planes came to the airfields all over Poland and war so they destroyed the Air Force. They destroyed most of the Air Force before they even were able to start their engines. My father’s anger was we are beyond words. He says small handfuls of planes would go up in the air against those mess of aircrafts. They were useless. They were useless is number one sentence My father was a took Hitler two weeks to tame Poland and to Hitler over two months to destroy the underground in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Ari: Let me just stop you for a moment. Let me just stop you for a moment where we’re here with with the Sabra Marcus, who’s giving us her incredible incredible story. And you know when we’re it’s just, it’s, you know, we’re, I have no words. It’s very, very difficult for me to speak on it. But she’s going to give us the rest of her story. And Sabra. Please continue. You’ve been listening to whispers in Brixham My name is Iris Schoenbrunn. This is the end of Part One of Sabra Marcus amaze. A story from her experience during the Holocaust. Stay tuned for part two coming very soon. Until then, listen to the whispers avoid the breaks, and never ever give up on your dreams. Bye for now.