With lipstick through Auschwitz
Miriam Nick (1922-2012), prisoner No. A26551 Auschwitz, survived 7 concentration camps and 2 death marches. Lipstick accompanied her and her mother at the most difficult moments
• Ofer Aderet
A few years ago Nick presented a special exhibition "Spots of Light, being a woman in the Holocaust" at Yad Vashem. " was shown a tiny blush she found in Cracow a few decades ago.
Aviva Lori magazine interview her Five years ago : "I found a lipstick thrown at the ground and there was still a little red in it. I Scraped from the bottom the rest and wrapped it, my mother and I ... always before selection would put blush on the cheeks to look a little better.We even took the flush shower ... when showering, under water, holding it between your fingers. It was so small, no one saw anything. "
She and her mother were forced into seven camps - including Plaszow, Auschwitz, Birkenau and Ravensbruck - and two death marches. After the war they went to Paris. In 1949 they immigrated to Israel - with the lipstick. Today it is Yad Vashem "- forever.
She was born in Krakow in 1923 as Marilla Sperling. Her father, Khaim Henrik, a banker, was murdered in the Krakow ghetto. Her younger brother Vitold (born in 19300 was murdered in Auschwitz. During the war she was always with her mother Rosa (nee rose). "Every time that they separated us she ran away and came back to be with me. She was getting beaten, but she would find a way to join me, "she said.
In 1943 they were transferred to Plaszow. "One night they caught her and brought her to the camp as a candidate for a transport. I ran to everyone I knew, I tried to find her. The next day she came back and told me that the entire night she dug with her nails - she always kept her nails long - under the barbed wire - and made it through. "Resourcefulness saved mother and I in the future." In Birkenau they took us to the block of those who are taken to their death. Mother said: "There is a window way up, if we all made a pyramid of women, we can escape".
The flush was also with them at Auschwitz. "When we got there, my mom was to me a symbol of health. Looked good, had good teeth, blue eyes. But suddenly a woman of 50 was considered old. She was just 47 years old but very thin, a cleaning woman whispered to them before a selection :" Be good, because Dr. Mengele is very sensitive to good behavior. They used a little rouge, and waited." I do not know if because of the flush Mother looked better than the others, but the fact is that none of women were stopped, "she said.
When Mengele went by, he asked mother what she was doing before the war. She said "a painter." The answer pleased him, and they were sent to work as artists in print, where they were forging paintings by famous artists.
After the war, in Paris, studying art, she married Dr. Arnon Nick - a Jew from Lvov who also survived- and they had theiry daughter, Violet (Sigalit, named after Vitold who perished). At 1949 they immigrated to Israel with her mother. She worked as an art teacher and was a researcher and curator of the Department of testimony at the Museum of Ethnography and Folklore of Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv.
She has published nine books as an illustrator and writer. The most important is "March of styles - History of garment due to currents in art" - art history. The others who sould be mentioned is the "Secret Diary of Hamlet" - which resurrected the hero of Shakespeare's tragedy to live a second life, an imaginary universe, where he writes his diary.
Her mother ran a workshop for "rehabilitates" employed the mentally handicapped. In 1979 - she passed away.
Miryam, who died in late December, leaving behind her a daughter, three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Obituary published in Haaretz family "reads:" Rest was prisoner No. A26551 Auschwitz concentration camp survivor seventh and two death marches, painter, illustrator and author of the books ".
1. Felitzia Ruza/Rose nee Bekman was born in Krakow, Poland in 1862. She
was married to Adolf. Prior to WWII she lived in Krakow, Poland.
During the war she was in Rabka, Poland. Felitzia was
murdered/perished in 1942 in Rabka, Poland at the age of 80. This
information is based on a Page of Testimony
submitted by her granddaughter Miriam/ Marilla Nick nee Sperling, a Shoah survivor
2. Ruchla Sperling nee Beckman was born in Krakow, Poland in 1870 to Gabriel Abusch. She was married to Salomon. Prior to WWII she lived in Krakow,
Poland. During the war she was in Wisnicz Nowy, Poland. Ruchla was
murdered/perished in Wisnicz Nowy, Poland. This information is based
on a Page of Testimony (displayed on left) submitted by her son
3. Heynrik Khaim Shperling was born in Krakow, Poland in 1893 to
Salomon Volf and Rachel. He was a banker and married to Roza nee Ruza/rose
(she survived). Prior to WWII he lived in Krakow, Poland. During the
war he was in Krakow, Poland. Khaim was murdered/perished in 1942 in
Poland at the age of 49. This information is based on a Page of
Testimony (displayed on left) submitted by his daughter Miriam Nik, a
4. Vitold Shperling was born in Krakow, Poland in 1930 to Khaim and
Roza. Prior to WWII he lived in Krakow, Poland. During the war he was
in Krakow, Poland. Vitold was murdered/perished in 1941 in Auschwitz,
Poland at the age of 14. This information is based on a Page of
Testimony (displayed on left) submitted by his sister, a Shoah
5. Helena Klein nee Ruza/ rose was born in Krakow, Poland in 1893 to
Adolf and Felitzia. Prior to WWII she lived in Krakow, Poland. During
the war she was in Krakow, Poland. Helena was murdered/perished in
1944 in Auschwitz, Poland at the age of 51. This information is based
on a Page of Testimony (displayed on left) submitted by her niece, a
6. Rut Klein was born in Krakow, Poland in 1921 to Aleksander and
Helena. Prior to WWII she lived in Krakow, Poland. During the war she
was in Krakow, Poland. Rut was murdered/perished in 1944 in Plaszow,
Camp at the age of 23. This information is based on a Page of
Testimony (displayed on left) submitted by her cousin, a Shoah
Rosa (Ruchel/Rozalia) Sperling (Rose)
Birth: April 20, 1895
Kraków, Kraków County, Malopolskie, Poland
Death: 1979 (84)
Daughter of Adolf-Abraham Rose and Feigel Felicia Rose or Ruza