Read reflections and testimonies written by Holocaust survivors in their own words.

  • Polana, Czechoslovakia

    My grandfather, Mayer Weiss, lived in Polana before World War I, when the village was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After World War I, Czechoslovakia was established and  included the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Karpatska Russ (Carpathian Russ), where we lived.

    Tags:   martin weissechoes of memory, volume 13

  • Righteous Among the Nations

    A few weeks ago, I received a call from a man living in Canada who told me that he is a nephew of Zofia Sawinska, a person who saved me and my family during the Holocaust. He has a lot of documents about his family and how they saved the lives of many more Jews.

    Tags:   marcel drimerechoes of memory, volume 13

  • Sachwerte

    The German term sachwerte means “non-cash value.” The term was often used in Germany and countries around Germany after World War I. The economic depression made cash lose its value soon after it was printed.

    Tags:   louise lawrence-israëlsechoes of memory, volume 13

  • The Art and Angst of Translating

    Because I don’t speak publicly about my experiences during the Holocaust, I earn my so-called “keep” as a Museum volunteer by translating. Over the years, my husband, Marcel, and I have done many translations. Even though the texts given to us by the Museum for translating are varied, all of them show the horrors of the Holocaust but also people’s resilience, love of family, hope, and resistance.

    Tags:   echoes of memory, volume 13ania drimer

  • My Rescuers

    During the fall of 1942, concerned about the danger that we might be rounded up and taken away, our parents sent my sisters and me to a farm in Thoiry, outside of Paris, where we stayed with two ladies, Madame Arthus and another lady, who I think was her sister. (I never saw a man there; the men had probably been taken prisoner with the French army during the Battle of France in the summer of 1940.) They were unaware that they were hosting Jewish children, because my parents had not told them, explaining only that we would be better fed on a farm than in a Paris suburb where food was rationed and scarce.

    Tags:   albert garihechoes of memory, volume 13

  • Paris Mon Amour

    I am a secret Francophile. It must be a secret when even my closest friends are surprised when I show my affection for all things French. I love everything French except the attitude French people have towards anyone who does not speak their language or those who speak it even with the slightest hint of an accent. I do not speak French at all. I know only a few words and expressions; nevertheless, of all the languages I like the sound of French the most.

    Tags:   peter gorogechoes of memory, volume 13

  • I Could Have Been One of Them

    A couple of weeks ago I shared my and my family’s Holocaust experience with a group of high school students in the Helena Rubinstein Auditorium of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. I caught myself using the adjective “lucky” one too many times.

    Tags:   peter gorogechoes of memory, volume 13

  • How Much Food Is Too Much?

    My wife keeps complaining that we have too much food in our oversized refrigerator (26 cubic feet) and in the freezer in the basement. As in most cases, she is right. After coming home from food shopping it’s like solving a 3D puzzle when we try to store the new grocery items.

    Tags:   peter gorogechoes of memory, volume 13

  • The Kilt and the Love of My Mom

    Fabric was scarce in the Netherlands after the war was over. The stores were mostly empty. Factories did not have the machines to make fabric or clothing. The machines were either beyond repair or had been stolen by the Nazis and sent to Germany.

    Tags:   louise lawrence-israëlsechoes of memory, volume 13

  • A Moment of Great Joy

    After two weeks of sailing on the Atlantic Ocean, the Serpa Pinto moved deliberately towards the shore of our new destination, the United States of America. The 50 immigrant children, including my brother Joe and me, were informed that early the next morning we would be cruising past the Statue of Liberty. The instructions were that we should be at the bow of the ship, on the port side, before 6 a.m. in order to obtain a good view. We understood that this statue was the universal symbol of freedom and represented the United States itself.

    Tags:   susan warsingerechoes of memory, volume 13