Timeline - Henrietta Diament
Henrietta (Hinda/Hesia) Leszczynski Diament was born in Lodz, Poland.
Henrietta encountered persecution from a peer in school, then transferred to a Jewish school.
September 1: Germany invaded Poland. At 21 years old, Henrietta was optimistic that the war would end in two or three months.
October: Henrietta’s parents sent their children, most of whom were adults, to the Warsaw Ghetto with relatives for safety. Henrietta left with her siblings and her fiancé, Stephen Diament,whom she married a few days later in a small wedding ceremony, despite Jews being forbidden to marry. Henrietta’s parents had been sent to the Lodz ghetto where her father would die of starvation. Her mother perished in Auschwitz.
As people were being taken away, children were left alone, wandering the streets, starving to death and their bodies littering the ghetto. One day Henrietta found a crying five year old; she brought him home, gave him what she could, but 6 months later he died.
January 18 – May 16, 1943: Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto fought the Nazis, hoping to prevent more deportation to death in the concentration camps. When the uprising was quelled, the Warsaw Ghetto was burned or demolished. The Nazis moved the surviving Jews.
Henrietta, along with her husband and others, were taken and sent to Majdanek, a camp in a city in Poland. Henrietta and her husband were soon separated; he was sent to Messerschmitt where they built planes.
After a few months, Henrietta was sent to Radom Ghetto (Poland).
August: Henrietta was sent to Auschwitz. Three weeks later, Henrietta was sent to Hindenburg, a work camp in Zabrze, Poland, where munitions were made.
January: With the approach of the Russians, the laborers were taken on a Death March towards west of Germany. Henrietta and others walked all the way from Poland to Bergen-Belsen, Germany, a distance of 475 miles.
March: Henrietta became ill with typhoid and her friends took care of her. Her friend Aida gave her water and checked on her fever. After going into a coma, she awoke to find that her dear friend Helen had died.
April: The German guards left and instead there were Hungarian soldiers. Henrietta and the other prisoners knew something was going to happen due to the fact that they had not been fed for days.
April 15: The British liberated Henrietta and the other prisoners.
June: In better shape now, Henrietta contacted her sister through the Red Cross and found her in Belgium. She traveled to join her sister, regaining her health. Wherever they were, they left their names in the hope of being found by family and friends. Three weeks later, Henrietta opened the door to find her husband, Stephen.
September 2: The war officially ended.
April 5: Henrietta and Stephen moved to Memphis, Tennessee.
Henrietta’s husband, Stephen (Stefan) Diament, passed away from cancer.
Henrietta Diament died January 22, 2006 in Germantown, Tennessee.
July 11: Memphis, Tennessee renames a street as Stefan and Hesia Diament Street. http://www.tennesseeholocaustcommission.org/news.php?id=43