This was originally published on SILive.com.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- "I went out where the ghetto was closed; people used to come from work. And I was waiting for my mother, my mother didn't come. I saw a lady with the same coat. I ran her way: Mommy Mommy!"
But it wasn't her mother. It was a stranger with the same coat.
And in that moment, Rachel Roth knew that her mother had been killed.
That was almost 80 years ago, but Rachel still tells the story as if it happened yesterday, with tears streaming down her face.
The image of her crying during the interview and recalling the last memory she had with her mother is something I will never forget.
She sat down, took a sip of water, and continued with her story. "It was very bad, very bad," she said.
Rachel spoke of losing her two sisters and brother, smuggling a gun into the Warsaw ghetto for the uprising and passing Mengele's selections at Auschwitz, to name just a few parts of her terrifying journey.
She also told the story of a woman who tried to escape from Majdanek. When the Nazis caught this woman, they hung her and forced the prisoners to watch her body hanging from the gallows. Rachel recalled the words of the officer, "If anyone tries to escape, this is what will happen to you."
To take the prisoners' minds away from the hanging, she told stories about Shabbat dinner with her family. She described the smell of the warm, tasty chicken soup coming from the kitchen and the delicious challah bread set on her table, with a white table cloth.
One prisoner thanked Rachel for bringing her to the imaginary Shabbat dinner table. She told Rachel that she had to survive, in order to tell the world what they did to them, and Rachel promised that she would.
Although Rachel is hard of hearing, she projects her story loudly, to keep this promise that she made to the woman at Majdanek.
Not only did she write her memoir, "Here There is No Why," she still continues to speak at schools in New York to keep her story alive.
Rachel tells her gut-wrenching story of losing most of her family, but leaves the viewer with a clear message: "We built a new generation!"
We invite you to watch the above video to hear Rachel's riveting story.