Rosa Schaumberg

"If you marry someone who is not Jewish, if you don't raise your children to be Jewish, then Hitler has won."

Name at birth
Rosa (Rushka) Weintraub
Date of birth
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Lodz, Poland
Name of father, occupation
Yoel Weintraub, Multipurpose store, we lived above the store
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Ester Perla Rajchapel, Ran the store with her husband
Immediate family (names, birth order)
Parents and seven children: Franka, me, Mala, Beyrish, Mendell, Meyer, Menashe
How many in entire extended family?
Large family, especially on the Weintraub side
Who survived the Holocaust?
The three sisters, Franka, Mala, and I
Rosa and her sister Franka worked in the ghetto sewing uniforms.  When they emptied the ghetto, Rosa together with Franka was sent to Auschwitz.  They were together the whole time.  From Auschwitz they were transferred to Bergen-Belsen where they were liberated.  In Bergen-Belsen, Rosa was very ill; she had Tuberculosis, Typhus, and Dysentery.  She was so thin; she slept on top of Franka, so she could sleep, for cushioning.  They worked in the fields, plowing, harvesting outside Bergen-Belsen.
Rosa and her older sister Franka were liberated at Bergen-Belsen and later lived in Bergen-Belsen as it became a DP camp afterwards.  She had heard about Marburg, Germany, a community where young Jewish refugees were gathering and was interested in possibly moving there.  Her sister Franka had hurt her leg, it was infected and she couldn’t walk. Franka told Rosa, to go without her.  There was an Oneg Shabbat, (a Sabbath get-together), Rosa did not know anyone there, was by herself.  
She noticed Julius across the room; he had thick red hair and had a number of girls around him.  He went up to her and asked about her.  She told him why she was there and not her sister.  He found her a place to live.  She went back to Bergen-Belsen.  Rosa and Franka went to Marburg to live.
Rosa was married before the war, a marriage of convenience, for less than a year.  Her first husband died in the Holocaust. 
There is a large needlepoint, “Moses and the Burning Bush,” their mother made.  Mala and Henry went back to Poland, wanting to see where they lived.  Somebody was moving in, someone was moving out.  There was a bunch of stuff in the hallway, including her mother’s needle point.  It was going to be thrown away, they took it. 
Rosa’s sister, Mala was marrying Henry Dorfman.  There were not too many rabbis left after the Holocaust.  There was a knock on the door by an American chaplain by the name of Rabbi Klein from Buffalo, New York.  His job was to try to reunite families after the Holocaust.  He asked Mala, are you Franka and Rushka Weintraub’s sister, they’re looking for you.  Immediately after the ceremony, Mala and Henry left for Marburg, Germany to be reunited with them.
After a year, they wanted to get out of Germany.  They put out requests for visas to go to Israel, England, Australia, or the Untied States.  The Dorfman’s and the Charlupski’s had received their visas to go to the United States.  There was a problem for them, the Schaumbergs.  They made “J and R Vodka,” Julius and Rosa vodka.  In exchange for a sale of some vodka, Julius received an “Eisenhower jacket” from an American soldier.  Julius was arrested for having the jacket, part of the American military uniform.  Also, Rosa needed medical clearance, she had TB in the camps, but was now all right.  However, American officials were not going to let her into the United States.  
Rabbi Klein knew she was not now sick and switched her x-ray with Mala.  It passed it through the medical people, and she was able to get her visa.  Before they left, they had signed papers allowing for Franka and Allan to adopt Joel so that he could leave Germany.  Rabbi Klein intervened however and they got their visas.  
They came across on steerage.  Rosa was deathly ill.  Julius went to work in the ship’s kitchen to get extra food for them.  Rosa was not sea sick; she was actually pregnant with Frederick.  When they got to the United States, they had no money, and didn’t speak the language.  Franka was pregnant and felt desperate.  She went to see a doctor to abort the baby thinking that life would be so difficult.  The doctor didn’t do anything knowing that things would be all right with time.  Freddie was born in Topeka, Kansas.
Name of Ghetto(s)
Name of Concentration / Labor Camp(s)
What DP Camp were you after the war?
Bergen-Belsen, Germany
When did you come to the United States?
Where did you settle?
Detroit, Michigan
Occupation after the war
When and where were you married?
1946 in Marburg, Germany
Julius Schaumberg, Baker and meat business
Joel Pinchas, dentist Frederick Lawrence, gastroenterologist
Four grandhildren: Jennifer, Melissa, Jaron, and Austin Three great-grandchildren: Sophia, Reuben, and Sadie
What do you think helped you to survive?
That we were able to work, we were young and strong. As long as you could work or steal, you could stay alive. Franka stole extra food for me. Franka and I were so close, having gone through the war together.
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
If you marry someone who is not Jewish, if you don't raise your children to be Jewish, then Hitler has won.
Biography given by Rosa and Julius Schaumberg’s daughter-in-law, Ellie Schaumberg
Interview date:

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