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

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  • Gratefulness

    I am grateful to the Museum’s staff for providing me opportunities to share and participate in our various programs. These programs make me feel that my message is important enough to pass on to people all over the world. I am grateful that I am healthy in mind and body and can meet the challenges that are asked of me. I feel vital and significant because I can contribute to the Museum’s mission, which is “working to keep Holocaust memory alive while inspiring citizens and leaders to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity in our constantly changing world.”

  • Simple Things in Life

    Nineteen forty-six is when I came to the United States at 17 years old. I was lucky to have my sister Ellen living in the Bronx. She immigrated to the United States in 1939 just before World War II started. In fact, she couldn’t go to the city of Mukačevo to catch a train to Prague; it was already occupied by the Hungarians, who were allied with Nazi Germany. So, she had to go through mountain roads by horse and wagon to Slovakia, where she caught a train to Prague and picked up her visa for America. Two weeks later, Germany occupied the Czech lands, including Prague. She made it to Sweden and caught a ship to the United States.

  • Thank You to the Holocaust Museum

    Thank you for the opportunity to speak today to you, my colleagues, teachers, leaders, historians, and all who work here. When I was asked to speak, I didn’t think I had anything to say, but then I realized that this is my golden opportunity to thank you all here at the Museum, who educated me, befriended me, and helped me to face the terrible experience I went through during World War II and learn how to remember and honor those millions we lost.

  • The Most Difficult Decision of My Life

    The Holocaust deprived me of a father, sisters, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. I was fortunate, however, to be reunited with my mother when I was three and a half. She was one of 110,000 Jews deported from the Netherlands, and one of only 5,000 who returned. It was not until I was five or six that I became fully aware of the many missing members of my family. I boasted that I would make up for the loss and have 12 kids of my own, and I conjured up a whole loud brood around the dinner table. But that was before I learned the facts of life and that it takes more than the wish of one person to make a family. Slowly, throughout my childhood and teens, I came to understand that I was different and that marriage and having a family of my own wasn’t likely to be. 

  • 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.