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

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  • A Letter to my Mother

    When you handed me over did you hug me, kiss me, give directions to my caretaker, was it someone you or I knew? Could you picture me as an adult? The years have passed, and I am now many years older than the age you were when you died.

    Tags:   esther starobinesther rosenfeld starobinechoes of memory, volume 2

  • I Was but a Child

    I have a photograph of a garden I look at often and longingly. The photo shows several family members sitting and standing around a small garden waterfall, topped by a sculpture of a little girl holding an umbrella. The year was 1938.

    Tags:   flora singerechoes of memory, volume 2

  • I Did It!

    In May 1995, my husband Jack and I traveled to Brussels, Belgium, on a mission to attend a ceremony to be held at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. I was very excited. At the ceremony during that month, Yad Vashem, the memorial in Jerusalem for the Jews and others murdered during the frightful years of World War II and the Holocaust, was going to honor several “Just of the Nations,” the term for those who dared to risk their lives to save others condemned to death by the Nazis.

    Tags:   flora singerechoes of memory, volume 2hidden childrenrescuersrighteous among nationsrighteous among the nationsremembrance

  • A Fish out of Water

    My husband Jackie and I were invited for a reunion of his former Seward Park High School friends from New York City. These were the young people with whom Jackie had grown up. They and their families had lived and some still were living in the neighborhood where Jackie was born, played, and attended both secular and religious school. 

    Tags:   flora singerechoes of memory, volume 2life after the holocaustmemory

  • If Rivers Could Speak

    I was in the water up to my neck. The water was cold. We were hiding in the bulrushes and I knew we could not move. It was very quiet and any sound would give us away. Mama gave me some soggy bread. It tasted awful, but she insisted I had to eat it to keep strong.

    Tags:   charlene schiffechoes of memory, volume 2complicityhidingmemoryparents

  • In Memoriam

    He had looked forward to this day all week, but a minute or so after he arrived it was already evident that something had gone wrong. He was to have greeted members of the diplomatic corps and escorted them to their seats—a plum assignment.

    Tags:   pete philippsechoes of memory, volume 2

  • Masquerade

    Lieutenant Block had never been to a party like it. The gothic, high-ceilinged hall, more than the length of a football field, was full to overflowing with people in costumes and masks, some humorous, others hideous. 

    Tags:   pete philippsechoes of memory, volume 2

  • Naughty, Naughty

    The annual spring cleaning was in full swing. The windows were open; the carpets were airing on lines outside. People were coming and going, each one busy with a specific chore. The mattresses were being turned over, feather beds aired and stored for next winter, closets emptied and cleaned and the contents replaced or discarded.

    Tags:   charlene schiffechoes of memory, volume 2familymemorypre-war life

  • A Lesson in Geography

    On my fourth birthday, it was cold, and snow covered the ground, beautiful, pristine snow. I had a small birthday party because the Hanukkah holiday would be celebrated soon. A birthday party was called imieniny, which actually means “name day.” I received many gifts—puzzles, books, and from my parents, a wool outfit.

    Tags:   charlene schiffechoes of memory, volume 2familymemorypre-war life

  • The Gang

    In the spring of 1943, three high school classmates and I became part of a work crew that, after air raids, tore down ruined buildings and cleaned the rubble from damaged structures. The members of the crew, Jewish husbands and sons of mixed marriages, came from all walks of life—a truly motley crew. They gave me an early course in human nature. Some of them I remember vividly.

    Tags:   fritz glucksteinechoes of memory, volume 2friendsmemoryforced labor

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