My mother was taken to Ravensbruck concentration camp for women in Germany. She was rescued by the Swedish Red Cross and taken to Malmo, Sweden. She was involved in the “White Buses” organized by Count Bernadotte of the Swedish Red Cross.
Our mother had seven years of Polish elementary school education. After finishing school, she studied to become a dressmaker and worked in her profession until she was deprived of her freedom. She was sent to the Czestochowa ghetto in early 1941.
In that same year, she was forced to work in a munitions factory there and after some time, she was transferred to Ravensbruck Concentration Camp where she was made to do heavy, physical work.
Our mother Ella was rescued from this camp, as part of Swedish Red Cross efforts to save innocent lives on the eve of the end of the war.
Ella arrived in Sweden on April 28, 1945.
On April 18, 1946, Ella was advised by the American legation in Stockholm to send her documents to her American sponsor, "to assist them on preparing satisfactory evidence in your behalf" and that because the Polish quota was oversubscribed, "it may take some time before your turn on the waiting list of intending immigrants is reached."
And they were right, it did take time, a long time, just over four years. I have copies of letters up to the time when my mother finally left Sweden on June 21, 1949 on the "Gripsholm" of the Swedish American Ship line. She arrived in the United States on July 1, 1949, a few months before my dad who arrived later that year.