Sermer, Zuzana

Zuzana Sermer was born in in the town of Humenné, Slovakia on August 29, 1924. Zuzana had a happy childhood. The war would change that though.  In the spring of 1942 all single women who were 16 and older were told to go the police station. All the other women packed their things but Zuzana packed nothing.   She spent the whole day telling the police about her sick mother. She was begging and crying.  At the end of the day the police had meet the quota of how many women they needed:  Zuzana’s life was spared.  She went into hiding. The hiding places were “both her refuge and her private hell”.  From there Zuzana’s journey began, as she and her parents, and her friends and eventual fiancé Arthur Sermer, sought ways to avoid to avoid the Nazi killing machine.  Zuzana lost her parents, and she credits Arthur’s resourcefulness, along with a few miracles, with saving her.

Zuzana was interviewed for this project at her home in Toronto in January 2013 by Charley Swartz, Abby Seigel, Natalie Krause, and Katherine Charness.  This interview was facilitated by the Azrieli Foundation, which has published Zuzana’s memoirs under the title Survival Kit.  Azrieli also organized a Twitter book club in early 2013, in which Crestwood participated.  We at Crestwood thank both the Azrieli Foundation and Zuzana Sermer for including us in their endeavours.