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 13life after the holocaust

  • 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 13life after the holocaustmemorykindertransport

  • 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 13life after the holocaust

  • 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 13life after the holocaustholidays

  • Righteous Among the Nations

    A few weeks ago, I received a call from a man living in Canada who told me that he is a nephew of Zofia Sawinska, a person who saved me and my family during the Holocaust. He has a lot of documents about his family and how they saved the lives of many more Jews.

    Tags:   marcel drimerechoes of memory, volume 13hidinglife after the holocaustrighteous among nationsrescuers

  • Paris Mon Amour

    I am a secret Francophile. It must be a secret when even my closest friends are surprised when I show my affection for all things French. I love everything French except the attitude French people have towards anyone who does not speak their language or those who speak it even with the slightest hint of an accent. I do not speak French at all. I know only a few words and expressions; nevertheless, of all the languages I like the sound of French the most.

    Tags:   peter gorogechoes of memory, volume 13life after the holocaust

  • How Much Food Is Too Much?

    My wife keeps complaining that we have too much food in our oversized refrigerator (26 cubic feet) and in the freezer in the basement. As in most cases, she is right. After coming home from food shopping it’s like solving a 3D puzzle when we try to store the new grocery items.

    Tags:   peter gorogechoes of memory, volume 13life after the holocaust

  • The Kilt and the Love of My Mom

    Fabric was scarce in the Netherlands after the war was over. The stores were mostly empty. Factories did not have the machines to make fabric or clothing. The machines were either beyond repair or had been stolen by the Nazis and sent to Germany.

    Tags:   louise lawrence-israëlsechoes of memory, volume 13life after the holocaustschoolsparents

  • And You, Where Are You From?

    In August 1972, I moved from British Columbia to Washington, DC, to pursue my graduate studies in linguistics at Georgetown University. It was a last-minute decision following a phone call from the chairman of the Georgetown French department offering me a position as a lecturer. However, classes were starting just six days later, and I had 24 hours to decide whether to accept or turn down the position. It was one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make. It started my life on a new course, one I could not have imagined back then.

    Tags:   harry markowiczechoes of memory, volume 13life after the holocaust

  • The War Is Over (Or Is It Ever?)

    In 1955, four years after my family's arrival in the United States from Balgium, I graduated from Garfield High School in Seattle. Although the student population was extremely diverse culturally, religiously, and racially, during my time there I felt like an outsider—even after I became fluent in English and made new friends. 

    Tags:   echoes of memory, volume 12harry markowiczlife after the holocaustimmigration