4 October 1916
|Died||17 September 2016 (aged 99)
Manchester, England, UK
|Children||Bernard, Salomon David, Anne|
Gluck was born on 4 March 1916 in Zürich, Switzerland, the daughter of Paul (Pinhas) Gluck-Friedman (1886–1964) and Henia Shipper (1887–1968). Her father was a direct descendant of Hasidic Masters, going back to the Magid Dov Ber of Mezeritch (1704–1772), the disciple and successor of the Baal Shem Tov (1698–1760). She had two sisters, Antoinette Feuerwerker born in 1912 in Antwerpen, Belgium and Hendel (Hedwig) Naftalis, born in 1913 in Zürich, as was also her brother Salomon Gluck in 1914.
Strasbourg and Paris
Her parents had moved from Tarnów in Galicia, Poland, to Belgium, then to Switzerland, during World War I. The family moved further to Germany, and finally to France in 1921, settling in Strasbourg. There she went to the famous Lycée des Pontonniers, now called Lycée International des Pontonniers. After moving to Paris, with her family, she studied in 1941 and 1942 to become a nurse, in the modern Ecole de puériculture, 26, boulevard Brune, in Paris 14. She worked before World War II at the COJASOR, a Jewish social service organization, together with Lucie Dreyfus (née Hadamard; 1869–1945), the widow of the famed Captain Alfred Dreyfus.
During World War II, she joined her sister, Antoinette Feuerwerker, and her husband, Rabbi David Feuerwerker, in Brive-la-Gaillarde. They worked together with Edmond Michelet, the future Senior Minister of Charles de Gaulle, in the major Movement of the French Resistance, Combat. In Michelet's Memoirs, she is mentioned as one of the active agents for Combat. Her name in the Résistance was Marie Rose Girardin.
She was arrested in the Synagogue of Brive in March 1944, taken to Drancy internment camp, and from there, on convoy 72, on 29 April 1944, to Auschwitz concentration camp. Her sister Antoinette Feuerwerker succeeded to forward to her a nurse uniform in Drancy internment camp. She wore that uniform, arriving in Auschwitz. Dr. Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi doctor singled her for survival. Later, he operated on her, without anesthesia. She survived three selections in Auschwitz concentration camp (Auschwitz-Birkenau), and later was transferred to the Gross-Rosen concentration camp, before being liberated by the Russian Army in February 1945. The number tattooed on her arm at Auschwitz was 80598. Underneath there is a triangle, meaning she is a Jew.
Convoy 72 took her to Auschwitz on 29 April 1944. Serge Klarsfeld described the convoy:
This convoy takes 1004 Jews, and includes 398 men and 606 women. Among them were 174 children below 18. The poet Itzak Katznelson (Itzhak Katzenelson) is among the deportees of this convoy, as well as many Poles, arrested as he was in Vittel, after having been transferred from Poland. There are families: the children Dodelzak, Ita 12, Georges 3 and Arkadius 3 months; the Rottenberg, Naphtalie 7, Nathan 5, Esther 4, Frantz 2,... On arrival at Auschwitz, 48 men were selectioned with the numbers 186596 to 186643 and 52 women, whose numbers are around 80600. In 1945, there were 37 survivors, including 25 women.
Her brother, Dr. Salomon Gluck was deported on the next convoy, convoy 73, leaving Drancy internment camp on 15 May 1944.
The Gross-Rosen concentration camp was situated near Breslau (called today Wrocław in Poland) railway station. She found that concentration camp worse than Auschwitz, even though there was no crematorium. There she had to work in a factory for ammunitions, from six in the evening to six in the morning. There was only one break: half an hour between midnight and twelve thirty. It was an assembly-line work. You couldn't stop or slow down, because the all assembly-line would stop or slow down. The blows rained down.
Even in concentration camp, she engaged passive resistance. In Birkenau, she was assigned to a group of 50 women who were knitting. A kapo made them knit undershirts for German newborns. She worked hard, and was given as a role model. Then winter came, they were asked to knit socks for men (Germans). Her vengeance was to make big knots inside to render them unusable. In her block in Auschwitz was another detainee that she saw daily, and who would later become a celebrated politician in France and Europe, her name: Simone Veil.
After the war, she returned to Paris. She became the one and sole employee of the new Israeli Airlines, El Al, when it opened in Paris, with a director, Mr. Massis. She welcomed and guided many Israeli leaders during their stays in Paris, including Golda Meir, and David Ben-Gurion. She was involved in the adventure of the Exodus (ship) (Exodus1947). Together with Abbé Alexandre Glasberg, recognized posthumously as a Righteous Among the Nations by the Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Israel, for saving Jews during the war, she made the false identity cards for the passengers of the Exodus.
She was awarded the title of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the French Government for her work in the Résistance, on 10 February 1959. She also was awarded la Médaille Militaire 1939–1945, la Croix de guerre 1939–1945, and la Croix du combattant volontaire de la Résistance. On 10 April 2009, the French Government made her an Officer of the Legion of Honor.
She was married to Nachman Warfman a Doctor in Law (University of Grenoble) and a certified public accountant (CPA). She had three children: Bernard, Salomon David, and Anne. She moved to Manchester, England, to be close to her children, her grandchildren and her great grandchildren. She died in Manchester on 17 September 2016, at the age of 99, a few weeks short of her 100th birthday.
- Edmond Michelet (1983). Rue de la liberté. Éditions du seuil. ISBN 978-2-02-003025-0.
- Serge Klarsfeld. Le Mémorial de la Déportation des Juifs de France. Beate et Serge Klarsfeld: Paris, 1978.
- Elie Feuerwerker. A Nurse At Auschwitz. Lesson In Emunah. The Jewish Press, New York, May 3, 1996.
- Elie Feuerwerker. The Bench. Lesson In Emunah. The Jewish Press, New York, June 14, 1996.
- Elie Feuerwerker. A Supreme Act Of Love. Lesson In Emunah. The Jewish Press, New York, December 12, 1997.
- Elie Feuerwerker. France and the Nazis. Letter to the Editor. The New York Times, June 20, 2001.
- Ève Line Blum; Mireille Abramovici (2003). Nous sommes 900 Français. ISBN 978-2-9513703-4-0.
- Elie Feuerwerker. The Blind Man And The Accordion. Lesson In Emunah. The Jewish Press, New York, October 11, 2006.
- Simon Rocker. France honours wartime resistance fighter, 92. The Jewish Chronicle (London), April 14, 2009.
- Valery Bazarov. "In The Cross-Hairs: HIAS And The French Resistance." The Hidden Child. Vol. XXI, 2013, p. 8-11. [Published by Hidden Child Foundation/ADL, New York].