I was working in the Prosecutor’s Office and heard the Germans were coming. I rushed to check on my sister and daughter. My younger sister was a pharmacist who went to check on our parents. They were killed. Ella’s husband disappeared, possibly in Siberia. His daughter, Luba was hidden in Neustadt by their nanny, Elisha, and neighbors.
The war came, and Ella and I, the only remaining family, escaped by train to Uzbekistan. Luba was turned in by neighbors. I met my husband while he was in the hospital recovering from wounds during fighting in the Russian Army. I was visiting someone in the same hospital. We got married a few months before the war ended. I hoped to see my family after the war. I had a lot of survivor guilt.
My husband and I decided to go to Vilna and went to the train station. It was mobbed with people trying to leave Poland. He told me to wait while he went to try to get tickets. Later, while I was still waiting, I was approached by a stranger who asked if I needed tickets. I said my husband had gone to buy them, and the man told me that he had tickets for us. I said that we would pay him back, but the man left the tickets with me and did not come back for the money after that. I always felt that the man was Eliyahu ha-Navi (Elijah the Prophet).
In 1946, our oldest child Joseph was born in Bethuen (pronounced “Boyton”), Poland. My husband was able to find work in his profession in Oslo, Norway, so we moved there. We had many adventures but, happy as we were, we decided to come to the United States instead of staying in Oslo to better ensure that our children were going to stay Jewish. A guest at our Passover Seder (festive meal when the story of the holiday is explained) later sent us a Jewish newspaper in which there was an advertisement concerning an agency in Detroit looking to sponsor a Lithuanian refugee. My husband contacted the agency, and he got the job. We came to Michigan in 1948, thanks to the efforts of Rabbi Leizer Levin and Mr. Louis Berry. The next year, our daughter Vivian was born and our daughter, Rose, was born in 1956. I became the head of a nursery school which I ran for twenty years.