The Story of Toby Biber 1925 – 2023
Toby Biber was born in Mielic, Poland in 1925 and died in London in December 2023. She was the fourth of seven children born into a very orthodox family; all her family were murdered by the Nazis except for her two older brothers.
Her family hid in their own home for two and a half years until March 1942 when they were rounded up and marched to a hangar outside the town. They were kept in terrible conditions for a week before being taken to Dubienka where Toby and her sister Sara received forged documents. They left their family and never saw them again.
Toby and Sara made their way to Krakow and into the ghetto, where they worked in a shoe factory for six months until the ghetto was liquidated. From there they were moved to Plaszow concentration camp. In the summer of 1943, they were transported to Auschwitz Birkenau where the conditions of brutality and starvation were incomprehensible. In October they were lined up, given a slice of bread and a blanket and loaded onto cattle wagons again. They were transported to Bergen Belson concentration camp where conditions were even worse.
Liberation occurred on 15th April 1945. But all was not well as Toby’s sister died of typhus eight days after liberation. Toby was taken ill too, but survived. She was moved to a Displaced Persons Camp after the war, where she met and married her husband Max. Toby was in this camp for two and a half years until she came to live in England in 1947.
Toby and Max were married for 60 years until Max died in 2007. Toby lived to the grand old age of 98; they had a happy life together despite being unable to have a family of their own. Bernice’s presentation uses video testimony from when she interviewed Toby for the Shoah Foundation.
Presented by Bernice Krantz
Bernice Krantz is not the child of survivors but interviewed Toby Biber for the Shoah Foundation in 1995 and they have been great friends since then. Toby now 98 years old is unable to continue telling her story and gave Bernice permission to do so before she suffered a stroke 7 years ago.
Toby was in two Ghettos and three Concentration Camps. Toby and her sister Sara had a very difficult time trying to survive. Their story is both compelling and horrendous.
Bernice was the UK coordinator for the Shoah Foundation based in LA and organised almost 900 interviews. Since then, she has been on the committee of both Holocaust Learning UK and Generation2Generation.