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

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  • Selma Is Going to Make Aliyah

    After my husband Sidney came home from the Gulf War, we decided that we wanted to be together with our family as much as possible. This would not be an easy task, as we lived at West Point in New York, Jordana was in school in Boston, and Judith and Naomi lived in Germany, where their respective husbands were stationed. We decided to meet in Holland, during Jordana’s winter break, in February of 1992.

    Tags:   louise lawrence israëlsechoes of memory, volume 14life after the holocaustfamilyfriendsmemorybelongings

  • In Memoriam: Harry Markowicz 1937–2020

    Even if English were my mother tongue, I would not be able to express the sadness I felt when I got the news that Harry Markowicz is not with us anymore. I knew that his health was deteriorating, I knew about his time in home hospice care in the last few weeks, but the news was still devastating. 

    Tags:   peter gorogechoes of memory, volume 14memoryfriendslife after the holocaustvolunteering at the museum

  • Sisterhood

    I have a sister, 14 months younger than me, named Zsuzsi. Her name was changed to Shosha in Israel. She was a beautiful, sweet little girl loved by everyone. Our relationship changed when we got older and she realized that she did not have to do everything I asked her to. As the older sister, it seemed to me natural that whatever I was asked to do I should forward it to her. She used to comply in order to please me, but this came to an end when she realized that all those requests were my jobs and my responsibilities.

    Tags:   agi gevaechoes of memory, volume 14familyoccupationhungarylife after the holocaust

  • What Makes a Good Relationship

    My wife and I have been living together for more than half a century, 54 years to be precise. I would not say that the sky has always been blue, or without clouds, or we have always been living in perfect harmony, but we are still together after all these years, and that is some accomplishment.

    Tags:   albert garihechoes of memory, volume 14familylife after the holocaust

  • Racism

    I was affected by racism from my birth. When I was two years old, my native France was invaded by her neighbor, Germany, who immediately started to implement anti-Jewish laws that affected me before I was old enough to know it. First, we were expelled from our home, which was the janitor’s house of the garment factory where my father worked as an accountant. We had to find an apartment overnight, in the middle of the war and in the midst of a terrible housing crisis. I was four years old.

    Tags:   albert garihechoes of memory, volume 14anti-jewish legislationfranceantisemitismracismlife after the holocaust

  • My First Theatrical Experience

    When I was 11 years old, my sisters took me to the Comédie Française to see Cyrano de Bergerac. It was the first time I went to a theater, and I had no idea what the play was about. I was immediately sold on the theater and on Cyrano, a man with a long nose, not handsome, not so particular about how he dressed, but, as he says to this vain interlocutor who has the nerve to provoke him by telling him that he has a long nose, “Me, it is morally that I have my elegance.” The whole play is about how he is morally elegant, almost heroic when Roxane, his cousin, the lady with whom he is so deeply in love, tells him that she is in love with someone else. Instead of behaving like a jealous, dismissed lover, he pairs with his rival and, together, they work towards making Roxane fall in love with “their” eloquence. That night at the theater, Cyrano became my hero, a role model I would try to emulate all my life, trying to make the best of a disillusion.

    Tags:   albert garihechoes of memory, volume 14life after the holocaustmemory

  • All I Really Need to Know I Learned from My Mother

    Single-parent families were the second-most common family structure in 2016 in the US, with just over 20 million children living with a single mother or father. Today the term “single-parent families” has a negative connotation, implying that one parent abandoned the family. The sad truth is that the missing parents are mostly the fathers who abandoned the mother of their children.

    Tags:   peter gorogechoes of memory, volume 14life after the holocaustparentsmemory

  • Things I Should Not Have Done

    I guess we all have things we would rather have done or not done, said or not said, things we are proud of or not so proud of in our lives. I am going to tell about a time I am not too proud of. This happened when I was 13 or 14 years old. I hope that by telling about it, I will clear my conscience once and for all of that stain that still haunts me almost 70 years later.

    Tags:   albert garihechoes of memory, volume 14life after the holocaustmemory

  • They Called Me by My Name!

    Before my mother and I immigrated to the United States, she had told me precious little about the town in Poland where she was born. Even the name of the town was somewhat of a mystery. 

    Tags:   alfred münzerechoes of memory, volume 14familymemorylife after the holocaustimmigation

  • Torte of Many Memories

    I am not good at changing tires, ice skating, or mending socks. What I am good at is baking, especially my signature dish, which is a walnut torte. Since I was a young girl, I was helping my mother with the torte: chopping the walnuts, watching how she mixed the eggs with sugar until they became almost white, and marveling at the egg whites when they became white and frothy and almost doubled in size. Then we would mix everything together, bake it, and after an hour, a beautiful, wonderfully smelling cake would come out from the oven. I felt a great closeness with my mother at that moment and appreciated that she introduced me to a wonderful world of baking.

    Tags:   ania drimerechoes of memory, volume 14holidaysfoodparentsmemorylife after the holocaust