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Holocaust survivor born in concentration camp marks anniversary of Auschwitz liberation

Holocaust survivor born in concentration camp marks anniversary of Auschwitz liberation
WATCH: A Holocaust survivor recounts her remarkable story of survival to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz as well as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

For Angela Orosz, recounting the story of how she was born is never easy.

It was Dec. 21, 1944, when her mother gave birth to her in Auschwitz, the infamous Nazi concentration camp.

During that time, Orosz lost her father, grandparents, aunts and uncles. She says it was only through a series of miracles that she and her mother survived.

READ MORE: Montreal Holocaust survivors tell their story on Holocaust Remembrance Day

“If somebody was pregnant, right away, they checked the woman’s breasts. If liquid came out, the person was pregnant — they were right away sent to the gas chamber,” said Orosz. “What happened, it’s a miracle.”

Although Orosz’s mother was pregnant with her at the time, a guard at the camp sent her to work instead.

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“He said to my mother: ‘You stupid goose,’ and he waved her for the working crowd.”

Because of those painful memories, Jan. 27 has a special significance for Orosz and many others like her.

The day marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz as well as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, as recognized by the UN.

READ MORE: Canada apologizes for turning away Jewish refugees in 1939 — why that matters

“Today, we have an opportunity to remember what happened, to commemorate, to honour and pay tribute to those who perished and to those who survived as well,” said Dorothy Zalcman-Howard, president of the Montreal Holocaust Museum.

The Montreal museum’s goal is to help remind and educate people of the horrors that occurred 74 years ago.

But when a recent poll was released showing how much Canadians know about the Holocaust, the results were troubling.

READ MORE: Nearly half of Canadians can’t name a single concentration camp: survey

The survey, which was conducted in September 2018 and included responses from 1,100 Canadians, found that more than half of all adults in Canada do not know that six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.

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That number jumps to 62 per cent in younger generations.

The survey also discovered that almost half of all Canadians cannot name one concentration camp or ghetto.

“It’s frightening,” said Orosz.

READ MORE: Young Montrealers meet Holocaust survivors, hear their stories

The Holocaust survivor believes that in order for a tragedy like the Holocaust to never happen again, the key is education.

She also believes it’s crucial for people to remember to lead with love instead of hate.

“The most important is to learn (difference). People are different, and we have to accept people’s (differences) and love others with that,” she said.