This was originally published on SILive.com.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – On a cold February afternoon, I walked through the entrance hallway of Holocaust survivor Hannah Steiner’s home -- the hallway led to a colorful, bright kitchen.
Pictures of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren covered the fridge from top to bottom. A photo of Hannah and her husband was on the wall, and a picture of her mother was clearly displayed next to the table.
I took a few steps forward into the living room, where I spotted the “grandchildren spoiled here” pillow sitting on top of the green and pink floral couch. Family photos sat on the tables surrounding the couch.
Hannah’s home is covered in memories, constantly reminding her of the love and pain she endured throughout her life.
“We were happy,” Hannah said, as she recalled helping with her mother with her sewing shop in Romania and learning to play the violin.
She also told stories about her boyfriend and future husband, Abraham, whom she met at a dance. She spoke of how they used to spend time together, but her mother always had to tag along as a chaperone.
On March 19, 1944, the Germans invaded Hungary and everything changed.
Hannah’s boyfriend was taken to a labor camp, her brother escaped to Brazil, her sister was killed, and she and her mother were put on a train to Auschwitz.
Hannah’s experiences still bring tears to her eyes, more than 70 years later.
In the video above, Hannah details surviving Auschwitz, walking in the Death March to Bergen-Belsen and losing her mother after liberation.
Amazingly, these tragic experiences did not stop her from rebuilding a new life.
“Hitler didn’t achieve what he wanted; I made a family, you see. I have three children, seven grandchildren, four great-grandchildren,” Hannah said, as she wiped away her tears.
“So what can I complain?”