Born April 3, 1937, in Adelsheim, Germany
Esther was born in Adelsheim, Germany in April 3, 1937. Her parents, Katie and Adolf Rosenfeld, had four other children — Bertl, Edith, Ruth and Herman. Esther’s father sold feed and other products for cattle, as well as occasionally arranging for the sale of cattle in the area. Her mother often helped him, as he had lost a leg in World War I. After they were no longer allowed to attend the local school, Esther’s three older sisters went to live with relatives, first in Heilbronn and then in Aachen. In March 1939, her three sisters went to England on the Kindertransport. Esther herself was sent to England on the Kindertransport in June 1939.
In Thorpe, Norwich, England, Esther lived with Dorothy and Harry Harrison and their son Alan from 1939 until November 1947. She was very much a part of this family. She went to school and had a happy childhood with the Harrisons, despite the effects of the war. Her sisters lived in different areas of England but came to visit whenever possible. Esther’s parents and brother had been deported in October 1940 to the Gurs camp in France. Her brother was rescued in 1941 and came to the United States to live with an aunt and uncle. Esther’s parents were sent to Auschwitz and murdered in August 1942.
In 1947, Esther’s sister Bertl followed the directions of their mother and arranged for Bertl, Ruth, and Esther to come to the United States. Edith was at that point still in the British army. When they first arrived in the U.S., they lived with an aunt and uncle. Edith eventually joined them. She and Bertl moved to an apartment with Esther and took care of her through the junior and senior high school years. Later, Esther lived with Ruth and her husband while in college at the University of Illinois where she studied to become a teacher.
Interview Esther Starobin recounts her journey on the Kindertransport from Adelsheim, Germany to Norwich, England [2002 interview].