Holocaust survivor Harry Fox was nine when the Nazis took over his town in central Poland. This short summary of his life describes life in a ghetto, as a slave labourer, in a succession of concentration camps, and on a death march. Harry Fox died in 2012.
Chaim Fuks, also known as Harry Fox, was born on 15 July 1930 in Tuszyn a small town in Central Poland where his family had lived for 10 generations.
The Germans came to Tuszyn in September 1939, riding motorbikes and bringing sweets. Restrictions for Jews increased rapidly.
On 30 November 1939 at 2am soldiers broke into his home, forcing the family to move into the Piotrkov Ghetto. Hardships there culminated in October 1942 when all Jews had to assemble in the main square. From here, women and children and those without jobs, including his mother and little sister, together with many other family members were transported to Treblinka and their deaths.
Slave labour in the Hortensia Glass Factory followed for Chaim, his father and brother. As the Russians advanced in 1944 they were moved to a succession of Camps, Czestochova, Buchenwald, Dora, Nordhausen and Hertzung. Chaim’s father died in Nordhausen of overwork and starvation. In February 1945 Chaim and his brother Johnnie were sent on a Death March with about 3,000 others. 45 survived and arrived in the Theresienstadt Camp three weeks before the war ended when they were liberated by the Russians.
On 14 August 1945 Chaim arrived in England with other child survivors who became known as ‘The Boys’.
He has been married twice, and has four children, the youngest, Lucy being born 50 years after his liberation from the Nazi Camps. A regular speaker about the Holocaust in schools and universities, he says:
‘Life is to be cherished. It is our most precious thing. Let us honour it in others with courtesy, respect and love.’