move Suzie Chiger:

"We headed for the sewer. It was very wet and dark. I was very scared and I was shaking, but I tried to be calm and only asked Daddy if we still had far to go. There were stones with yellow worms crawling all over. We put all our things over the stones and sat on top of them. It was awful there. Water seeped from the walls and it smelled bad. I saw large, red rats which ran by us just like chickens. At first I was very afraid, but later I got used to it. My little brother, Pawelek, was not scared at all.

I lay on Mommy's knees and Pawelek was on Daddy's. This lasted five weeks. We couldn't move or get up. There were 20 other people with us. Every day, from the first day, the Polish sewer workers brought us food: black bread and margarine. They were very nice to us.

Because they were afraid that someone might notice them, they always came into the sewers through different sewer covers.

After five weeks, other sewer workers found our hiding place. We had to run away. We ran through the main pipe, straight ahead, and we didn't know where we were going. Suddenly, we saw our sewer workers. They were very surprised and asked us where we were going. Daddy told them everything. Then they led us to a side pipe and told us to stay there overnight. In the morning, they led us farther in. While walking, I felt much better. I did not have to sit any more. I walked barefoot in a summer dress. I was shaking from the cold but I felt happy. I got a pin in my foot but I took it out myself because I didn't want to delay the others. We finally reached a cement pipe and we stayed there the whole day. It was so cold there that we couldn't stand it. There was also no place to sleep. The next day our friends led us away again. By then we were only 11 people. The others had died."

Paul Schwarzbart:

"While World War II was going on Paul Schwarzbart lived a life of secrecy. During the spring of 1943, Paul was hidden in the Ardennes by the Jewish underground at the Home Reine Elizabeth, a catholic boy's school in Luxemburg. There he lived for two years playing the role of a Belgian Catholic with the name of Paul Exsteen. Paul soon became an altar boy and Cub Scout leader and was eventually baptized in secret. Because he was never able to share his secret, he felt a painful loneliness in his heart. All during the time he was there he suffered from the agony of not knowing his parents' whereabouts. Eventually Paul found his mother and they fled to the United Sates, where he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees at UC Berkley. He taught for 45 years, and has spoken over 200 times in various venues recounting his life experiences as a hidden child."

move
move Anne Frank :

"After the Germans took over, Anne Frank's dad Otto Frank decided the family needed to go into hiding. The office of Otto was now closed so they decided that would be a good place to hide. On the second floor there were two doors. One leading to the attics and one leading to the hiding places. The entrance to the hideaway would be covered by a bookcase. The Franks were joined by the Van Pels family a week after they went into hiding. Each one of them had chores to do (cleaning, cooking, school lessons). They kept busy by reading and studying. Since the space was so narrow, it was hard to get along with everyone. The families could not leave the apartment, but they did have a radio they listened to every night to keep them in touch with the outside world. Anne spent most of her time day dreaming, she would write about her life in her diary. Food was the biggest problem, the families had not planned on the war lasting as long as it did so they began to run out of food. They had to follow a strict schedule in order for the office workers not to hear them, (breakfast at 9, lunch at 1, supper after the workers had gone home for the day). One day for Dutch Nazi Police came into the building and demanded to see the inside, they found the secret hiding place and arrested the 2 faimlies inside it. They were taken to Westerbork, a large concentration camp in Holland. Miep Gies rescued her diaries from the secret hiding place. Anne and Margot Frank were moved to the Begin-Belsen camp in October 1944. Anne and Margot died there in March 1945. The camp was liberated the following month."

Simon Jeruchim:

“ Don't worry, we'll grab those Jews sooner or later!”
Simon Jeruchim was a Jew living in France in the summer of 1942. When the Nazis first started to round up the Jews, he and his family hid with one of their family friends Mrs.Ackerman. Everything started to get bad and the Nazis came looking for them so they were taken in by two merchants of whom his mother had kept close ties with. They stayed in cluttered storage rooms, and slept on blankets laid on hard cement floors and ate whatever their hosts could spare for them. He and his brother and sister devised quiet games to ward off their boredom and kept their mind out of the fear of being discovered. It came time for them to start finding a new hiding place so a very trustworthly friend Mrs. Bonneau decided to help them. The children got split up from their parents and their other siblings. Simon and two others were sent to Mr.Ernst in his home town of St. Aubin-les-Elbeuf . For the girls they were sent to Mrs. Bronzini. As they left that house it was the last time they would ever see their parents. Simon in his new home had to convert to Catholicism. Unlike most children in hiding Simon actually had to do stuff. He was overworked and treated like a servant. Simon had to trade his favorite pair of shoes for and old pair of wooden clogs that were too big for his feet only because that's what all the other farmers wore. Although he avoided arrest he was still not safe from the ravages of the war. After the war Simon was reunited with his siblings they were placed in a series of homes until 1949 when they were sent to America to start a new life."

 

 

Henriette Parker:

“I was lonely and afraid. I was left in the house by myself a lot. There was a German Women's Outpost across the street, so I couldn't even look out the window. At great risk, my mother came to visit me once or twice, leaving the safety of her hiding place. I looked thin and pale, so my parents decided that they wanted me outdoors and out of the city. I understood that my parents were doing all this for my safety, but at night, I couldn't sleep thinking about why I wasn't near them, in a bed next to theirs, as I had been in my home. Luckily, they got me out of that house, because a few days later, the Germans raided everyone on the block and took away all the hidden Jewish children, at least twelve of them. I never knew there were others hidden on that street. I was really just thinking about my own predicament. I left that house with the man who was hiding my parents. I stayed with Mrs. Nicaise till the end of the war. She was my godmother, just a wonderful human being. I felt protected and loved-a sincere part of her life.”

Stan Rubens:

“One day, I believe in September of 1941, my father came into my room and said: “Put on about three sets of underwear and an extra sweater. We're going underground, but we cant take any luggage with us because that could look suspicious. It will have to look like we're just going for a walk.

So here we were at Westeinde in a small 8'x8' bedroom. Two windows from which we could look out showed the roof of a quasi-shopping gallery. I had no toys of course, and while my metal Mecano erector set would kept me busy for hours, I had not been permitted to bring it with me.To get to our hiding place, you had to walk up two flights of stairs that had a small landing between them.At nighttime, before we turned out the lights, all windows were blacked out- not for the Germans, but so that the planes flying over from England to bomb Germany would not be able to see anything.We also listened to music on the radio. One night my sister taught me how to do the foxtrot. I have never forgotten that time. Thanks to my sister, I became a pretty good dancer.From time to time Christians from the Underground Movement would visit and bring us food vouchers.By the end of the Second World War I was thirteen years old and free and alive.”

 

Isaac Millman:

"When the Germans invaded France Isaac was seven since that time his life has been changed. His father was taken away, and then two years later he and his mother were arrested. To save Isaac's life his mother bribed a jailer to take him to a nearby hospital, where he could pretend to be sick a long with many other children with the help from the doctors and nurses. Isaac had to shed his Jewish identity and became Jean Devolder. But he never lost hope that he would re4turn to his parents or forgot his true identity."

Frida Scheps Weinstein:

"Frida was a young Jewish French girl. Her whole life she grew up around the Jews and the French people but none of the French people knew she was Jewish. One day her mother sends her off to a Christian boarding school in France. The girls are very mean to each other there she doesn't like it. For supper they got carrots served up in little pieces, which Frida did not like at all. There was a train station near by and one day the stationmaster's son Robert took Frida out for a ride on his bike and he raped her. She never told anyone because she was a Christian now and could not be doing that sort of thing. Frida never saw her mother again. After a few months at the boarding school, she satyed in Jewish homes in the Paris suburbs until 1947, when she moved to Jerusalem, where she lived with her father. There she attended Grammar and Secondary School and served to years in the Israeli Army, beginning in 1954. The next few years were divided between France, England, and Israel, and in 1961 she emigrated to the US. She now lives in New York City."

 

Frieda Weinberg:

"Frieda was at the age of 6 when she had to go into hiding. The genocide erupted in 1944 in her hometown and she survived it by living in a banana tree and then later leaving her parents and fleeing with her sister and moving through refugee camps in sub-Saharan Africa. At age 9 her father was murdered and her grandparents, uncles, and aunts were sent to the gas chambers at Auschwitz . She only survived this time in Poland by hiding with her mother and little brother in a hole under a barn. Two years later they began to move through the forest eating leaves and drinking rain water to survive."

Toni Rinde: (Personal Interview)

“I was born in November of 1940 in Przemysl , Poland . When the Nazis started to invade Poland my family had to go live in the ghetto and were only allowed to leave for their day jobs in the ghetto. One day a stranger walked up to my parents while I was still in a carriage and asked my dad how they could take me into the ghetto. He told her he had no place else to take me and so they agreed to meet one night and that stranger took me away. I lived with this woman for 3.5 years. A priest issued a new birth certificate for me. I went to church everyday and became a typical catholic girl. I had to be very careful who I talked to. When people came to this woman's house I had to go into my room and hide. While I was staying with her my parents and uncle were in the ghettos. My uncle was able to leave the ghetto at times and come watch me and report back to my parents, but he never told me who he was. My father decided that it was time for them to escape the ghettos, so he sent my mother out one night on a Polish family's horse carriage with hay hiding her, and then later he and my uncle left and went to stay on my grandparent's property. Many Polish families on this property helped to hide my parents in their attics; however one family was killed by the Gestapo because they would not admit to hiding my parents and other Jewish families. After the war was over I was reunited with my parents but of course I did not recognize them and I did not want to go. Once I finally did leave with them we moved from Czechoslovakia to Prague to Paris back to Czechoslovakia , then Holland and finally to the United States . We were limited as to what country we could go to because each country had a quota of the amount of Jews they would admit. We eventually ended up in the US because of my uncle living in New York agreed to give us an affidavit saying that we would not become a burden of the state. This was the only way to be admitted to the US at that time. I was 7 years old then when I started my new life.”

 

Ruth Kapp:

“'In 1941 Ruth was 4 years old and she learned that it was dangerous to use her own name. “Remember,” her older cousin Jeannette warns her, “your name is Renee and you are French!” Abruptly separated from her parents, Ruth lives out the war hidden in a Catholic convent, where she is not allowed to see or even mention them. A paper bag containing a few pieces of candy, smuggled into Ruth's hands, is the little girl's only clue that her parents are still alive. If it were not for the ordinary people form the French countryside that risked their life to protect her and her family she would not have made it.'"

Jack Baumfeld: (Personal Interview)

"I stayed in the forest as a partisan for two years in Poland during 1942-1943. In the summer, we went to fields at night to find potatoes or other vegetables. We always stayed near water, so that if the Germans came looking for us with dogs, they would lose our scent. In the winter, we still looked for whatever we could find, but it was very difficult. Sometimes, there were good people who would let us work for a little food. We would work very, very hard. Sometimes, though, the people would contact the authorities to report seeing Jews after we did the work, and we had to run before we could get what little bit of food they had promised us. We hid where ever we could. I was never found, although we were often subjected to shrapnel blasting and other shooting. There were times when the people I was with were killed, and I had to lie beneath my dead friends in order to escape the German soldiers who were checking for survivors with their bayonets. We were lucky to survive. We were constantly on the go. We could never stay in one place for fear of being found. There were no doctors or medicine, or even enough food. We did the best we could. You had to be young and have the will to survive. We found shelter by digging holes, wrapping ourselves with rags, covering ourselves with branches, and if we were lucky, we found a remnant of a Polish army raincoat or blanket to cover ourselves with underground. People were afraid; no one helped. None of my family was with me, although the survivors and I were reunited after the war in Displaced Persons camps in Germany . My parents survived in a ghetto and then in the woods until they were taken by the Russians. My brother and three of my sisters also survived. My oldest sister and her husband and baby were killed, as was my youngest sister, grandparents, and many, many uncles, aunts and cousins. After the war was over, I was taken to a Displaced Persons camp in Germany . I was able to find work until I was able to come to America in 1951."

Miriam Schlezinger:(Personal Interview)

"I was born in Slovakia in 1927. I was born in the very small town of Poruba (in Slovakia), but when I was still very small my family moved to the somewhat bigger town of Poroskova (which was in Podcarpadska Rus). My family spoke Yiddish at home, but I attended a Slovak public school. Later this became a Hungarian school, and I remember having to learn Hungarian. I also remember getting to leave classes on those days when the gentile kids were instructed by a priest. A cheder teacher came to our home to teach us children how to read Hebrew. I wasn’t always very attentive. Around one or two years after the Hungarians took control we were expelled from school for good. I was about 13 or 14.

Around that time older kids from Poroskova started being deported to the camps, so my mother arranged for us three eldest girls to live with Gentile families in Ushorod. I have no idea how she managed to arrange this. I was with a gentile family for about a year, and I cleaned and took care of their children. After a time, they were fearful of keeping me any longer and said that I had to leave their home. Mother came to get me, and I somehow wound up in Hungary proper with another gentile family. This was in Niredhazo. The last time I saw my mother was when she took us to Niredhazo. I must have been there also about a year, but my memories of that time are not very clear.

I ended up in a Hungarian ghetto with my two older sisters. We must have been there about three months before the ghetto was liquidated in 1944. My thoughts and memories are hazy. I know that I never saw my parents or younger siblings again. I was never able to learn exactly what happened to them all. Someone later told me that they thought they had seen my father in Auschwitz, so I felt that was where they perished. I never felt that my beautiful mother could have lasted very long when she was with six small children."

Miriam Schlezinger was liberated from Auschwitz in 1945. She is now living in Havana Florida.

 

 

 
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