Picture; Arthurs' family before the war
Born: 1927 Ukmerge, Lithuania
Survivor: Kovno ghetto, Dachau Concentration Camp
"My sister carried my mother through the death march.[My mother] died
one month after liberation...we were very grateful to know that she
was buried. What a thing to be grateful for," says Arthur Pais, who
was among the ten percent of Lithuanian Jewry to survive the
Pushed into the Kovno ghetto after his town was destroyed, Arthur
remembers, "German soldiers came in during a workday and took all the
children and older people and shot them." Those who remained were
loaded into boxcars. When the train stopped, Arthur's mother and
sister were rerouted to Stutthof, a concentration camp in Poland.
Arthur says of the last time he saw his mother, "My only memory of
that day is of her crying." Arthur, his father, and his brother were
sent to Dachau.
After working fifteen-hour shifts for weeks on end and surviving on
watery soup and a daily slice of moldy bread, the inmates at Dachau
heard rumors about the advance of the American Army. The Germans
evacuated the camp, forcing the prisoners into a death march. Arthur's
father, too weak to move on, stayed behind.
Starving, exhausted, and ill, Arthur and his brother pressed on toward
the Bavarian Alps. When they awoke one May morning, they discovered
that the guards had fled. They wandered to the nearest town. A few
days later, American troops took them to Munich. It was there that
Arthur found his father, just barely alive, and learned that his
mother had at least lived long enough to see her home once again.