I was born in 1935 in a northern province of the former Yugoslavia. I enjoyed a normal, happy childhood until 1941 when the Hungarian and German forces occupied the area. Two years later we were forced to move to the Jewish ghetto and spend the next few months living in cramped quarters within the ghetto.

In 1944, we were sent to Austria to do forced agricultural work and then sent to the German concentration camp Bergen-Belsen where we spent seven months. Several of my family members perished in the camp but amazingly my mother, her parents and I survived. A couple of years later my father was released from the labour camps and was reunited with us.

After the war I resumed my education and continued on to university where I completed a degree in chemical engineering. In 1971 my husband, children and I immigrated to Australia to start our new life in Sydney. I worked as an industrial chemist and later started a consultancy in the pharmaceutical industry as well as a skin care line.

Through Courage to Care, I find myself reflecting on one of the most painful experiences in my life with the hope that raising awareness of these events among our youth will ensure that they, and future generations, will never know such times.