Trudy Schloss was born on March 8, 1924 in Pforzheim, Germany to Frieda and Sally Ullmann. Her younger sister Erna was born 4 years later. Pforzheim didn’t have many Jewish families but Trudy and her family were active in the Jewish community and lived a nice middle class life. After Jewish children were expelled from school, Frieda and Sally sent 14 year old Trudy to Berlin to the Jewish Hospital to train as a nurse. It would be the last time she saw her parents. They, along with Erna, were eventually sent to the Gurs internment camp in Vichy France. Erna was rescued by the French underground and spent the war years in a convent. Frieda and Sally were transferred to Drancy near Paris and deported to Auschwitz, where they perished in 1943.
Trudy heard that some of her relatives had volunteered to be “resettled in the East.” She desperately wished to be with family and volunteered as well. She ended up in Riga, Latvia in late 1941 and was sent to Kaiserwald, a labor camp nearby. It was there that she met her future husband, Lewis, who was from Gelsen Kirchen Horst in Germany. After some time in Kaiserwald, Trudy was shipped to Stutthof, a concentration camp in Poland. From there, she spent time in several smaller labor camps.
Trudy was liberated in April 1945. She actually was on a death march when the German soldiers forced the remaining Jews into a Polish barn. They secured the doors, planning to set fire to the barn. Suddenly, the Jews heard gunshots and then complete silence. A Russian tank battalion had mowed down the soldiers. From there, Trudy walked back to Germany. Lewis was now working for the Americans and saw her name on a list of survivors. They reunited, married in September 1945 and arrived on the SS Marine Flasher in New York harbor on May 20, 1946.
Trudy lived most of her life in Teaneck, NJ and raised two children. Her last nine years were spent in an assisted living facility. She was an upbeat, caring, selfless and loving person. She and her husband were extremely grateful to the United States for giving them a home. They lived a life of giving to others. Trudy and Lewis were active in the Jewish community and committed to Israel. Trudy died on May 3, 2020. She is survived by her children Julia (Rick) Lieberman and Steven (Barbara) Schloss and three grandchildren, Brian Lieberman, Sam Schloss and Amanda (Brian) Canell.