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Zahava Szász Stessel


Überleben im KZ Buchenwald-Außenlage Markkleeberg

Notenspur Leipzig e.V. (ed.)

22,90 €, ISBN: 978-3-95565-445-0 April 2021

Project partner: Publishing house Hentrich & Hentrich
With the support of: Flügelschlag Werkbühne e.V., City of Markkleeberg


 Publication of Book "Snow Flowers – Survival in the Buchenwald Concentration Camp Subdivision Markkleeberg"

In order to disseminate the touching story of the women of the Buchenwald concentration camp subdivision in Markkleeberg (see also Schneeblumen-Gedenkweg Snowflower commemoration on April 13th, 2021) as a special part of Leipzig’s history and to be able to use it across generations, the publication of the “Snow Flowers” paperback is realized by the publishing house Hentrich & Hentrich.

About the Book

In 1944, in the Auschwitz concentration camp, 14-year-old Jewish Hungarian Zahava and her sister Erzsike are mistaken for twins, routinely selected for SS doctor Josef Mengele. When this mistake is noticed, the two sisters are sent via the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp to the Buchenwald subcamp Markkleeberg near Leipzig, where they have to perform forced labor in the armaments industry for Junkers’ Aircraft and Engine Works. On April 13th, 1945, the exhausted women were forced on a death march towards Theresienstadt Ghetto, from which Zahava and her sister escaped under dramatic circumstances near Dresden.

Zahava Szász Stessel describes the exhausting forced labour, the humiliation and everyday life in the camp under SS guard and at the same time tells how even here humanity and solidarity could not be completely extinguished – like "snow flowers" under ice and snow.

In addition to historical documents, the book also contains an overview of all the women imprisoned in the Markkleeberg camp.


Zahava Szász Stessel, born in 1930 in Abaújszántó (Hungary), was deported to the Buchenwald subcamp Markkleeberg near Leipzig in December 1944. In April 1945 she escaped a death march. After an odyssey through several countries and camps, she reached Israel in August 1947, where she met her future husband, with whom she eventually went to the United States. She worked at the New York Public Library for over 15 years and received her doctorate from New York University in 1991. She has written numerous articles and two books about her experiences and ordeal.

* The publication of the book "Schneeblumen" was supported by the Holger Koppe Foundation.