Piroska “Perla” Ovitz

Piroska “Perla” Ovitz

Birth
Death 9 Sep 2001 (aged 80)
Burial Haifa, Haifa District, Israel
Memorial ID 16871739 · View Source
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Dwarf or little person, Piroska or Perla as she was more commonly known as was a Pseudoachondroplasia dwarf. Born in Rozavlea, Romania the youngest daughter of Shimshon Eizik Ovitz and his second wife Batia. Shimshon was a little person while both of his wives were of average height. In total they had ten children, 2 with his first wife Brana both dwarfs and eight more with his wife Batia three of average size and five were dwarfs. Perla was not expected to make it at birth and the midwife who delivered her would not even let Batia see her baby. After insisting the baby was handed to her mother. Batia stuck her finger in Perla's mouth and caused her to cry out and breath saving her life. Perla blames her mother's actions for her large mouth. Unable to have regular jobs the family decided to entertain and became known as "The Lilliput Troupe".
They traveled and entertained until the beginning of WW2 when as a Jewish family they were deported to Auschwitz. An SS soldier saw a family of with seven dwarfs and summoned Dr Josef Mengele to see them. He immediately took to them and placed them as well as the rest of their extended family 22 in all to the medical ward and conducted experiments on them. he told them that no harm would come to them as long as he was there. Mengele saved their lives in Auschwitz numerous times. All of the family survived their time in Auschwitz and returned to the village they were from but found life their to difficult. They moved to Sighet. Life was still very difficult there so they went to Belgium, the only country that would give the entire family visas. They continued to perform but found their audience limited. After getting offers from the United States and Israel they decided on Israel. In Israel life was hard but good, they did not speak Hebrew and had to learn quickly. They performed for years but as they were getting older decided to retire and ran a cinema. It is said that Pearla cried on the day that she found out the Mengele was dead, after all he did save her families lives. Perla's tombstone reads: Here lies the last of the family of dwarfs, Miss Perla Ovitz, daughter of Shimshon Eizik and Batia, who suffered every single day of her life.

They are the subject of the book "In our hearts we were giants."


Family Members

Siblings Half Siblings

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  • Created by: Helaine M. Larina
  • Added: 1 Dec 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 16871739
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Piroska “Perla” Ovitz (10 Jan 1921–9 Sep 2001), Find a Grave Memorial no. 16871739, citing Haifa Main Jewish Cemetery, Haifa, Haifa District, Israel ; Maintained by Helaine M. Larina (contributor 46491470) .