Marta Hammer

Marta Hammer

Marta Hammer (Reicher), 98, a Holocaust survivor and 62-year resident of West Orange, died March 8, 2020.

Born in Zilina, Czechoslovakia, to Ida and Julius Reicher, she was the youngest of four children. As a teenager, during World War II she was sent away from home by her mother to save her life. In Hungary, she lived in the open under an assumed name and worked as a seamstress, evading the concentration camps, where her parents and two brothers died. She met and married her husband, Otto Hammerschlag (Hammer), in 1944 in Czechoslovakia. Together they survived the war with the help of Dr. Rezno Kasztner, who found space for them on his last truck transport to Switzerland. From there they were able to immigrate to Palestine on the first legal ship to sail there from Marseille, France.

The couple lived on a kibbutz for one year. They served in the army in the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. Marta’s duties were to disassemble guns and rifles, clean and reassemble them, and fire when necessary. While in Israel they had their only child, Ester, and resided in a northern suburb of Tel Aviv.

In 1958, the family moved to the United States, where they settled in West Orange. She worked for several years in the business started by Otto and his brother Rudy, known as New Look Construction Co.

Predeceased by her husband of 72 years, Otto, and her brothers, Erno, Leo, and Eli, she is survived by her daughter, Ester (Harold) Maltz; two grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Services were held March 11 with arrangements by Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel, Livingston. Memorial contributions may be made to Jewish National Fund (to plant a tree in Israel), 78 Randall Ave., Rockville Centre, N.Y. 11570; or the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW, Washington, D.C. 20024.

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