Tuesday marked 70 years since she was liberated from Auschwitz, the notorious Nazi concentration camp where Jews were exterminated in large numbers and unspeakable atrocities occurred. For Eva Slonim, the horrific memories of her time at Auschwitz will remain with her until her dying day -- they are "ingrained."
But seven decades later, she is still getting “revenge” on her Nazi tormentors.
After getting out of Auschwitz alive, Slonim promised herself she would have a family and surround herself with love and happiness. More importantly, she would spread love in the world.
"That's my revenge. I wouldn't touch anybody, I wouldn't hurt anybody but I would reproduce what was so terribly lost," she said in an interview with ABC Melbourne.
Slonim was only 12 years old when she became a prisoner at Auschwitz. Though she would be freed months later, she said it was enough time to rob her of a childhood.
"When your life becomes about survival, you grow up instantly," she said.
Slonim recalled seeing people dying and with their last breath telling her, “Tell the world so this will never happen again.” And so she did, chronicling her personal Holocaust story in a memoir, "Gazing at the Stars," and speaking out whenever she can.
She told ABC Melbourne that SS officers would torture Jews “mercilessly” just to get them to admit they were Jewish. Slonim was one of many Jews at the time who were living as “Aryans” using fake documents. Even under torture, she said she never admitted she was Jewish because her father told her they would kill her.
Every morning at 4 a.m., she said, Nazis would wake up the prisoners for interrogation. To this day, Slonim still wakes up at that time.
Slonim traveled to Australia as a refugee in 1948 after World War II, which is where she remains today with her family, a husband and four children.
Read the full report from ABC Melbourne here.