Skip to main content


After being selected to be transported to his first labour camp at Grünheide, Ernst catches a sight from the window of the bus that remains seared into his memory:

“We were then led out of the hall and bundled off into buses. Only then did we see the large crowd of women and children outside the factory gates. They stared anxiously into the buses searching frantically for their husbands, sons or fathers. On the lookout for my family, I finally caught sight of my little sister Noemi, then a thirteen year-old girl. In desperation she ran from bus to bus, searching to discover one of us. Finally she spotted me, but we were forbidden to wind the windows down. No one was allowed onto the bus. Silently we stared at one another through the window; we both had the feeling that a terrible fate awaited us. My final memory of my little sister is of these lingering glances.”

Jews from Zawiercie on their way to forced labour work [source unknown]

Deportation of Jews in Zawiercie. [United States Holocaust Memorial Musem]

After the war, Ernst married and had three children. His first child was a girl who he named Noemie after his sister who perished at Auschwitz. It is Noemie who translated The Long Night from German into English.

Translate »