AGAINST a backdrop of hatred, it was love that helped Judith Rosenberg live and thrive.

The 97-year-old is Scotland's last remaining Auschwitz survivor but, despite the horror of the death camps, there is no trace of bitterness as she describes her experience.

Instead, the support of her close knit family and the deep, devoted love of her husband are what shine through as she tells her story.

Judith, now living in sheltered accommodation in Giffnock, grew up in a comfortable, middle class childhood in the town of Győr, in Hungary.

Along with her mother, Irene; her father, Zsigmond; and sister, Kati; Judith was also close to her governess, a young orphaned German girl taken in by the Weinberger family.

Judith has vivid memories of the woman she calls "Nanny" and of her first day of school, as well as her father's insistence that German was spoken at home, given how close Győr was to the Austrian border.

Zsigmond also ensured his elder daughter learned English and French, which were later to become life-changing skills.

Judith left school at 18 with her Baccalaureate and went to Budapest to live with her uncle and attend university.

At around the same time, Nanny was forced to leave the family as Germans were forbidden to work for Jewish people.

After two years there, her father, who owned a sawmill, became alarmed at increasing attacks on Jewish people so her brought her home to Győr to be apprenticed to a watchmaker.

In 1944 the family were moved to a Jewish ghetto in the town where, not long after, around 200 hundreds Jewish residents were told to board a train.

Judith, her parents, her sister and her grandmother were among them.

"It was not a train like you might think of," Judith said. "It was for transporting animals.

"We didn't know where we were going or for how long we were on there because the door was locked and there was only one small window."

Without much warning to pack, Judith's family had few belongings and very little to eat - just some bread and salami her mother had packed.

She added: "There was no space, no food and no water.

"We can't even do our affairs as there was only one bucket in the middle. You can hardly believe that now. Father and his friend had to empty it under the door of the wagon."

Her father, doing what little he could for his girls, lay his coat on the floor of the truck for them to sit on.

Several people died during the journey, which Judith believes was for four or five days, and the bodies were piled in the corner.

When the train arrived at Birkenau, part of the Auschwitz complex, Judith's grandmother was gone.

She said: "I know that when we got off the train my grandmother disappeared. We couldn't help her, I don't know. My mother's mother disappeared, just like that."

The men were told to go to the left while the women were ordered to go to the right.

It would be the last time the Weinberger women saw their husband and father who, they later learned, died while in forced labour for the Nazis.

But Zsigmond had told his family to always take the more difficult option, if the Nazis were to give them two choices.

And this advice saved their lives. Soldiers offered the frailer members of the group a bus to the camp but Judith, Irene and Kati said they would walk.

It later emerged that those who took the bus were sent directly to the gas chamber.

Judith said: "Auschwitz was an awful place. We got in to a big barrack and there was some German soldiers with dogs.

"The soldier said, 'Everyone take your clothes off.' We just sort of looked at each other. We took off our coats. And then slowly our cardigans.

"And the soldier said, 'Better hurry up. There are dogs here, they will chase you.'

"Then we had to be undressed totally and go forward and there was a platform that people worked with razor blades and cut your hair off.

"You had to put up your arms and they cut under the arms and they cut even in the private parts."

As the women who had been processed gathered together, Judith could not find her mother or Kati - she did not recognise them naked and without hair.

She added: "We felt awful. We must have been scared but when people are with dogs behind you, you have just got to do what they are telling you."

The group was sent to a large shed were there was barely enough room to sit down.

Irene put her arms around her two daughters and the three huddled together.

Judith's family were taken to Auschwitz around Easter - she remembers the Easter bells ringing out in her town - and were kept there until September when the three women were taken to a work camp in Lippstadt, Germany.

They were tasked with making hand grenades. But Judith also repaired watches for Nazi officers in exchange for a little extra food, which she shared with her mother and sister.

Judith remembers the Easter bells were also ringing when they found out they were to be liberated.

The allies were advancing so the Germans began to march their prisoners into the mountains.

But, realising they were losing, the soldiers abandoned them.

Judith said: "Suddenly somebody said, 'The SS is not with us any more,' and we were suddenly free. It was in the middle of the forest.

"We looked round and there was nobody holding us. It was really wonderful.

"We were near a town and the Americans opened all the doors [to the houses] and here was suddenly loads of food and clothes and it was fantastic.

"We were absolutely elated. The Germans had gone away and we could go in to loot in all the houses. but the Americans encouraged us. They said 'They have taken everything from you so you take what you want.'"

Judith and two other girls who could speak English were taken to be interpretors at British military headquarters.

During an afternoon tea, Judith met Scottish artillery soldier Harold Rosenberg.

Her face lights up as she remembers her dashing young man and she becomes animated by her memories of him.

"I adored him," she says. "And he adored me. He sat down and he was very kind to me. Can you imagine after all that I had been through and a good looking young man comes over?

"He didn't right away ask to marry me but fairly quickly, after three months.

"My mother said to him, 'Are you sure you love my daughter because soldiers and sailors go to another port and find somebody else?'

"But Harold said, 'No, I'm sure.'"

Judith's mother and sister returned to Hungary, desperate to find out what had happened to Zsigmond while Judith and her new husband moved to Glasgow.

While she, for many years, never spoke of her experiences, she found Glasgow to be very welcoming and her new parents-in-law treated her as a daughter.

She said: "Harold's mother took me out to buy some clothes as all I had was my uniform. We went to Marks and Spencers and I loved it.

"On Sauchiehall Street, I remember, there was M&S, Pettigrews, Copland and Lye, and the nicest shop was Daly's."

Judith would have loved to have studied physics and maths at university but the fees were too expensive so, instead, she opened up what become a thriving chain of baby clothes stores.

Harold and Judith enjoyed 60 years together before he died, on the the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, in 2005.

On Monday it is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz but Judith is focused on the good life Harold helped her build in Glasgow, and the many friends she has.

She said: "I am not angry. We are all just people. My father taught me that."