Estare Weiser (née Kurz)
Born in the concentration camp

On 13 April 1945, the HASAG Leipzig subcamp, a part of the Buchenwald camp system, was evacuated as the US Army approached. The approximately 5000 female prisoners were driven on death marches. Only a few women who were too ill or weak for the march remained behind. One of them was the Polish Jew Anna Kurz. She was heavily pregnant – and gave birth to her daughter Estare on the day of the evacuation.

Miraculously, the child survived. On 19 April, the Americans entered Leipzig, liberated the mother and daughter, and took them to a hospital. In June 1945, they were both able to leave for Switzerland with the help of the Red Cross. A year later, Abraham Kurz, Anna’s husband and Estare’s father, joined them there. He survived the Buchenwald subcamp Schlieben and a death march to Theresienstadt.

In 1951, the Kurz family emigrated to the USA. Estare became a history teacher and married the psychiatrist David Weiser in 1967. The couple now lives in New York and has two sons and four grandchildren.

Anna and Estare Kurz after their liberation from the HASAG Leipzig subcamp, summer 1945.

At this point, Anna Kurz did not yet know that her husband Abraham had also survived.

(Estare Weiser)

The reunited family in Switzerland, summer 1946.

Estare is 15 months old. There had been an older brother, but the SS murdered the three-year-old Moishele in 1944 in the Płaszów Concentration Camp.

(Estare Weiser)

"The Holocaust completely changed their lives. They had lost their families, their homes, their land, their benefits of inherited wealth, their connections, the roots in their culture, and the support of their families. My parents were the only couple from their town, both of whom had survived the Shoah."

Estare Weiser's account of her parents' story, 28 May 2020.


Buchenwald Concentration Camp registration file for Estare's father Abraham Kurz, 5 August 1944.

Abraham and Anna Kurz had been forced laborers in an armaments factory of the Leipzig-based HASAG corporation in occupied Poland. When the Red Army approached in the summer of 1944, the concern relocated the factory to subcamps of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp in central Germany. On the form, Abraham’s wife’s name is given as Channa K., and no dependents are listed. Their son Moishele was already dead.

(Arolsen Archives)


Anne Friebel, Geboren im KZ – die Geschichte von Estare Weiser, in: Newsletter of the Leipzig Nazi Forced Labour Memorial, Issue 9, December 2020, pp. 14 – 16.