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

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  • Smuggling

    By 1941, Jewish people in Belgium no longer received food ration stamps. The only way to obtain food was to buy it on the black market. Mama started to smuggle food across the border from northern France, where food was still more easily obtained and less expensive. Part of the food Mama bought was sold and some of it kept for the four of us—Mama, my two younger sisters, and me. Also, with the proceeds, we were able to buy perishables like milk and eggs, as well as some vegetables and fruit. During Mama’s trips, I stayed home to care for my two younger sisters, Charlotte and Betty, which was quite a responsibility for one not quite 11 years old.

    Tags:   flora singerechoes of memory, volume 4belgiumfrancefoodparents

  • First Impressions Sometimes Lie

    I stood at the front of the classroom facing my students, who were themselves teachers within the same school district as I was—Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. They had enrolled in the summer in-service class for teachers to study the history of the Holocaust, as well as to learn methods for teaching this history to their own students when they returned to their classrooms the following fall.

    Tags:   flora singerechoes of memory, volume 3holocaustvolunteering at the museumdocumenting the holocaust

  • 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

  • New York

    Upon our arrival in New York we were met at the harbor by two men. I vaguely recognized one of the men, but the other was a total stranger. After being introduced, I learned that the one I vaguely recognized was my father. Although I recognized his face, something was wrong.

    Tags:   flora singerechoes of memory, volume 1life after the holocaustimmigrationfamily

  • The Light Blue Ensemble

    Every time Helena, or Heleneke, as she was called by everyone in the family, wore her light blue ensemble, I was filled with envy. I loved the dress and the cape she wore over it. My favorite part of the dress was the skirt, which fluttered up and outward when Heleneke twirled round and round. When she wore the cape she looked regal, like a real princess. Heleneke had many beautiful dresses; I did not.

    Tags:   flora singerechoes of memory, volume 1occupationauschwitzhidinggassing operationsfamilypre-war life