Faces of Resistance: Women in the Holocaust
Aliza Baruch – 1927 - 1993
Aliza Zarfati was born in Saloniki in 1927. In 1943, she was deported to Auschwitz with her family. There, she was the victim of various medical experiments aiming for sterilisation. She was one of the few who survived these violent experiments.
While at Auschwitz, she worked in Birkenau for a year. There she met Ovadia Baruch, a man from Saloniki, and the two became lovers. Zarfati survived the death march and was transported to move camps in Germany, separated from Baruch.
After the war, Zarfati met Baruch again in Saloniki, where he asked for her hand in marriage. She initially refused, certain that she was infertile and thus an unsuitable partner. Despite this, Baruch was convinced that she was the one for him, and they were married. Their wedding rinds were engraved with the numbers that were tattooed on them by Nazis in Auschwitz. Together, the pair immigrated to Israel.
On day in 1946, Zarfati (now Aliza Baruch) went to the doctor for a check up, where she was shocked to find that she was pregnant. She gave birth to a healthy son.
She later found out that during the operations carried out on her in Auschwitz, there was an aerial bombing of the factory that they were in. The only doctor who did not go to the shelter was Dr. Maximilian Samuels, a Jewish doctor who worked despite being a prisoner. He was ordered to continue the surgery despite the threat. Dr. Samuels took advantage of his situation, and rerained from removing her second ovary. Dr. Samuels sabotaged many of the doctors’ experiments, and saved a few other women from infertility. He was executed in Auschwitz in 1944.
After her firstborn, Baruch gave birth to a second child, and lived a long life with her husband and two sons. She passed away in 1993.