Shalom Life | December 25, 2014

Woman Who Survived the Holocaust Because Nazis "Ran Out of Gas" Turning 101

Klara Markus, who managed to survive three concentration camps, including Auschwitz, was born in 1913

By: Daniel Koren

Published: December 12th, 2014 in News » World

Photo Caption: Klara Markus and Anton Rohian celebrate her upcoming 101st birthday

Photo Credit: U.K. Daily Mail


The Daily Mail reports that a Jewish woman from Sighetu Marmaţiei in Northern Romania who survived three Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust, including Auschwitz, is looking forward to celebrating her birthday on New Year's Eve, 2014.

She'll be turning 101.

According to Klara Markus' account, she was a prisoner at Dachau and Ravensbruck concentration camps before she was deported to infamous death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

She was just over 30 when she was sent to the gas chambers, just before the liberation of the camp came in January, 1945, alongside hundreds of other prisoners. She weighed roughly 70 pounds.

“I was chosen towards the end of the day with a large group of other women and we were made ready for the gas chamber,” she said to the Daily Mail. “But when they put us inside and went to turn the gas on, they found they had run out. One of the guards joked that it was our lucky day because they had already killed so many they didn’t have any gas left for us.”

“God was watching over me that day,” she added.

Her surviving the gas chambers was the catalyst for a new mentality she adopted, enabling her to somehow escape from Auschwitz and return home to Romania, only to discover that her entire family perished during the war.

Markus was born on New Years Eve, 1913. She met her husband, Dr. Andrei Markus, shortly after her return to Romania.

A Romanian government official, Anton Rohian, arrived to wish the Holocaust survivor a "mazel tov" in anticipation of her birthday, bringing her flowers, champagne, and "an excellency diploma to thank you because you’ve returned to Maramures after all you’ve been through.”

“It’s important not to forget what happened in the past,” he added.

Markus's response was genuine, kissing the Romanian flag, and thanking him for this "wonderful moment."

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