Ceija Stojka was an Austrian-Romani writer, painter and musician, and a survivor of the Holocaust. She was born in Kraubath an der Mur, Styria, the fifth of six children, sister of Karl Stojka and Mongo Stojka, also writers and musicians.
“I was 8 when the Germans took my father away; a few months later, my mother received his ashes in a box. Next, the Germans took my sister, Kathi. Finally, they deported all of us to a Nazi camp for Romani in Birkenau. We lived in the shadows of a smoking crematorium, and we called the path in front of our barracks the “highway to hell” because it led to the gas chambers.”
Ceija was subsequently freed from the Bergen-Belsen camp in 1945.