Silvia Grohs-Martin
ISBN 9781566492409 (paperback)
Published in May 2002
MSRP $15.00
“Silvia has done more than survive unthinkable horrors, she has embraced a love of life that is contagious. Her story continues to inspire a belief in the possibilities for goodness in all of us.”
-James Moll, Executive Director, Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation

“Silvi is the powerful, painful, exquisitely told story of courage and strength and heart, in the face of the worst hatred and violence of our times. In these days when memoirs of lesser lives are the rage, Silvi is one which chronicles a life of substance and bravery. Thank God Silvia Martin, who had seen hell with her own eyes, is here to remind us never to forget what she saw.”
-Iris Rainer Dart, author of Beaches

On the day the Germans took control of Austria in 1938, Silvia, a 19-year-old actress, left Vienna with a traveling theater troupe. Settling in Holland right before Germany invaded in 1940, Silvia rose quickly to prominence at the Hollandsche Schouwburg, site of Sarah Bernhardt's farewell performance and one of Europe's most historic and distinguished theaters. By 1941 the Germans were placing greater limits on Jews, but they allowed the Schouwburg to stay open as a Jewish theater for Jewish performers playing exclusively to Jewish audiences. Schouwburg, the theater sold out nightly as Silvia and the star-studded cast offered a magical respite from the Nazi oppression just outside its doors.
Then, one day in autumn 1942, Silvia arrived at the theater to find it had been converted overnight into a deportation center for Dutch Jews being sent to the camps. Silvia and her fellow theater workers found themselves helping to care for the thousands of Jews – friends, neighbors, adoring fans – being brought in by Nazis and Dutch “bounty hunters.” Silvia soon joined a Dutch Resistance group that sequestered Jewish children in non-Jewish homes until the end of the war. Later she turned to a smuggling ring that was to take her and others to neutral Switzerland; instead, they delivered Silvia to German headquarters in Brussels. From there she was transported to Malines, then Auschwitz, and finally Ravensbrueck before being liberated in 1945.
Silvia is one of four Holocaust survivors featured in Survivors: Testimonies of the Holocaust, the educational CD-Rom produced by Steven Spielberg's Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. Here remarkable memoirs, published for the first time by Welcome Rain, are at once a celebration of the human spirit and a sobering reminder of the tragedies that can never be forgotten.

SILVIA GROHS-MARTIN is a former actress, dancer and singer who toured throughout Europe until the Nazi occupation of Holland. During the occupation she worked at a Jewish theater and cultural center and was a member of the Dutch Resistance. She later survived the horrors of Malines, Auschwitz and Ravensbrueck camps. Now 81, she lives in Los Angeles and makes frequent appearances nationwide on behalf of Steven Spielberg's Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation.