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

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  • “The Jewish Problem”

    During the summer of 1970, I moved into a group house on the main street of Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada. The stylish house overlooked the end of a Pacific inlet from the side of a small hill. It had been designed and built for the wealthy owner of a nearby sawmill. Based on appearance, some of our neighbors might have thought of us as hippies; however, the six residents were graduate students and teaching assistants at Simon Fraser University, located nearby on top of Mt. Burnaby.

    Tags:   harry markowiczechoes of memory, volume 13

  • Bridges

    The cabinet in my dining room was filled with tchotchkes. All those trinkets were scattered on four shelves in no particular order and, therefore, it was exceptionally difficult to find anything. In order to retrieve a particular dish that I wanted to use, I needed to take out numerous items that all ended up cluttered on the floor. On one occasion, I decided it was a perfect time to throw out some of these objects that had been slumbering there for many years.

    Tags:   susan warsingerechoes of memory, volume 13

  • My Mothers

    I have been an orphan since August 14, 1942, but I have never thought of myself that way. At the May 14, 2019, meeting for Echoes of Memory, the survivor memoir writing group, I listened to two people read their writings. Both writers talked about their mothers and specific actions their mothers had taken. One person spoke of all the actions his mother took to save him and the family. The other writer spoke of the ways his mother had made his childhood a time of happiness and encouragement. Both writings made me feel very sad. It has made me think of my mother, but I cannot remember her at all.

    Tags:   esther starobinesther rosenfeld starobinechoes of memory, volume 13

  • Interconnections

    I don’t remember when I first met my cousin Suse. Suse was the daughter of my Aunt Rosa, one of my father’s sisters. Once I was an adult, I visited Suse whenever I was in London.  It was always fun and very English, these visits. She and her husband, Frank Underwood, lived in a lovely section of London on the third floor of an apartment building. No elevator here, just a lot of stairs. Making tea was a definite ritual in their home but somehow very relaxing. The teapot had to be warmed as well as the cups. Suse was very exacting in all she did. When Suse developed diabetes, she carefully adapted her favorite cake recipes so that she could still eat them. The Underwoods loved to walk all over London and take walking trips in other parts of England. When my husband, Fred, and I visited, we often spent time with them walking in a nearby park.

    Tags:   esther starobinesther rosenfeld starobinechoes of memory, volume 13

  • Letter to Tansi

    We, the survivors who volunteer at the United States Holocaust Museum, often receive letters from students who wish to engage with a Holocaust survivor as part of a school project. Tansi is a 15-year-old sophomore in high school in California. She must have researched our survivor biographies and been moved by my experience and wanted to learn more. Her sensitive letter prompted me to reply to her and praise her for her perceptive questions.

    Tags:   susan warsingerechoes of memory, volume 13

  • Zooming

    We go on with our lives even though everything has changed because of the coronavirus. It has affected our physical connection with the outside world. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, like all the other museums in Washington, DC, has been closed since March. I miss riding on the metro and taking an Uber to give my talks to our visitors, giving tours, going to my Echoes of Memory writing workshops, and attending the survivor meetings. However, in the middle of this dark time in the world, it did not stop the Museum from sending out its message.

    Tags:   susan warsingerechoes of memory, volume 13

  • Reunited

    I was asked to speak in the Hall of Remembrance at the Museum’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. After all these years of never wanting to speak in a large public setting, I was hesitant. Yet, one day as I was driving, I suddenly saw myself speaking at a lectern and knew that I had decided to say yes to the request.

    Tags:   ruth cohenechoes of memory, volume 13

  • The Joy of the Outdoors

    I love water and every form of it that gives me an opportunity to engage in outdoor activities. I love to swim in a pool, a lake, a river, or the ocean. I like sailing, kayaking, and rowing. I used to ice skate until a few years ago when I had spine surgery. I still like skiing, and I am proud that I can keep up with my grown daughters, at my advanced age.

    Tags:   peter gorogechoes of memory, volume 13

  • Passover Memories

    I never had a chance to ask the four questions that are traditionally asked by the youngest person at the Passover Seder table. Neither have I had a chance to earn a dollar by being the first to find the Afikoman. I was already 40 years old when I first attended a family Seder in Baltimore with my aunt, uncle, and cousins.

    Tags:   peter gorogechoes of memory, volume 13

  • Sitting at the Survivors’ Desk

    On Wednesday mornings at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, I sit at a desk where other Holocaust survivors and I meet Museum visitors. I tell my story, and the story of my family’s survival.

    Tags:   george salamonechoes of memory, volume 13