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

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  • 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

  • Obligations

    My sister Bertl was always present in my life. Bertl was the person who guided our siblings and me to become a strong, cohesive family. She was opinionated and had a clear vision of what was right and wrong. Maybe it was her German birth. But she is gone now, as are my other three siblings. So, I ask myself, what are my obligations to keep the family strong and resilient? 

    Tags:   echoes of memory, volume 12esther rosenfeld starobinesther starobin

  • One Good Day

    By train and boat, and other means, I arrived in Thorpe, Norwich, England, in June 1939 to live with the Harrisons. Mr. Harrison, Uncle Harry, read a sign on the bulletin board at the shoe factory where he worked, asking for families willing to take refugee children from Germany. I was just past my second birthday and had been brought from Germany by an organization called the Kindertransport. While I had three sisters, each living in separate places in England, I arrived by myself.

    Tags:   esther rosenfeld starobinechoes of memory, volume 8

  • Looking for My Father

    I know my father, Adolf Rosenfeld, was born in 1898 in Korb, Germany. Korb is a very small place. He apprenticed as a baker when he was a young teenager. During World War I he was in the army. During his service in the war he lost a leg. Consequently, when he returned to Korb after the war, he could not work as a baker.

    Tags:   esther rosenfeld starobinesther starobinechoes of memory, volume 4

  • Accepting History: Return to Adelsheim, the Second Time

    The letter had been sent to Bertl, my sister, by Reinhart Lochmann in September 2000. In his letter he described the special program he was planning to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the deportation of the Jews from Adelsheim and Sennfeld, Germany, to camps in southern France.

    Tags:   esther starobinesther rosenfeld starobinechoes of memory, volume 3

  • 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