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RESCUING HOPE

Holocaust Remembrance

“I feel that it is important for as many people as possible to hear these stories in hope that something like this will never happen again.”​

~ Sam Weinreb, z”l, Holocaust survivor and TBE member 

We’re preserving the history of the Holocaust by recording and sharing the stories of our community members.

Read the histories of Holocaust survivors in our community.

Read the histories of Holocaust survivors in our community, documented by our Rescuing Hope team. Hover over the box to the right and click on the arrows that appear to scroll through an introduction to each survivor; click “Read More” to read each survivor’s whole story. Or click the button below to see all the community members whose stories we’ve preserved.

Charles Elbaum

My father was born in Lublin, Poland in 1926. He almost never spoke about the Holocaust. This is what I have been able to put together.

Hans Laufer

Hans Laufer was born in 1929 into a German Jewish family who owned the largest roofing tile/paper production company in Germany at the time.

Samuel Natansohn

Samuel was born into an Orthodox Chasidic family in Poland. He was ten years old when the war broke out, and his family was soon encircled by the German advance.

Sidonia Natansohn

Sidi was a 15-year-old girl in 1944. That spring, she was among those deported from Hungary to Auschwitz, riding in a packed cattle car to an uncertain destination.

Hersch Altman

Hersch was born in 1931, the only son of a deeply religious, middle class family, with three older sisters. His parents were shopkeepers.

Malvina Fisch

Malvina was born in Yaroslav, a relatively large town in Eastern Poland. Her parents were store owners, and they lived a comfortable pre-war life.

Israel Gajer

Israel (“Izzy”) was the third oldest of seven children (2 girls and 5 boys), born into an Orthodox Jewish family in Dubienka, Poland.

Julian Bussgang

Julian Bussgang was born in Lwow, Poland in 1925. Julian’s family belonged to the “Great Synagogue,” which at the time was considered Progressive.

Edward H. Rose

Edward H. Rose had a very remarkable life. His family is so proud of him and would like to share his story.

Gerard Wertheimer

By the time Gerard became a young man, the situation in Germany had deteriorated with the ascendancy of the Nazi regime.

Eva (Schiff) Wertheimer

Eva, at age 15, and her siblings were kicked out of school, and then attended a Cheder run by Jewish teachers forced out of their roles in secular education by the Nazi regime.

Eugene Kohan

Eugene was at a youth group outing when the Germans took over control of Hungary, and he was discovered to be a Jew. He soon found himself under Gestapo control.

Betty Lauer

Betty’s father made it to the US in March 1938. But by October 28, 1938, Betty, her mother, and sister were rounded up and expelled from Germany. They were sent to Poland.

Ilse Leeser

Ilse was 10 years old when her father and 2 uncles were arrested, along with 30,000 other specific German Jews of influence and wealth, on Kristallnacht.

Walter and Elsie Kaufmann

Walter and Elsie met in Munich and were married on Christmas Eve 1934. During the mid 1930s, as life for Jews grew increasingly intolerable, they could not imagine the horrors that were yet to come.

Max Adler and Elizabeth-Stern Adler

As WWII approached, my father and his brothers tried desperately to get their parents to flee from their country, but they delayed too long.

Joe Schlesinger

One evening in fall of 1942 Joe returned to the Ghetto to find his home empty; his entire family had been taken to Treblinka.

Zoltan Mathe

On October 17, 1944, a gang of heavily armed youth with an armband of their movement burst into our yellow-starred building and ordered all “dirty stinky Jews” to get down to the courtyard.

Edith Szmukler Schlesinger

Despite her losses and her wartime experiences, Edith had a tremendous optimism about the world. She lived her final days at Newbridge on the Charles and came to TBE often. We miss her every day.

Recordings

Watch recordings of survivors in our community telling their stories. Hover over the video box and click the arrows that appear to scroll through all videos.

 

TBE member Teddy Friedman shares his experience preserving testimonies from survivors and his internship with the USC Shoah Foundation.

 

Mapping our Stories

Discover the cities where our community members lived before the Holocaust. Click on the arrows in the upper righthand corner of the map to expand it, and click on the red pins on the map to read each individual’s story.

Resources

Survivor Publications

Read books and other publications by survivors in our community.

On the Fields of Loneliness by Hersch Altman
Refugee, Soldier, Student: A Memoir by Julian Bussgang
Books by Julian Bussgang
Hiding in Plain Sight by Betty Lauer
Surviving the Holocaust by Ilse Leeser
A Goose Story, Toward the Precipice, On the Brink: Memoirs by Zoltan Mathe
Remembrances by Sam Natansohn

Resources for Survivors and Families

Get involved with organizations that work to support survivors and families, both locally and nationally.

JF&CS Schechter Holocaust Services
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Resources for Survivors and their Families

Reach Out

If you or someone you know would be willing to share their story with us, please reach out to Saul Natansohn or Rabbi Philip Sherman.

Rescuing Hope Research Team
Dan Elbaum
Gloria Rose
Les Schwab
Marc Laufer
Rabbi Philip Sherman
Rebecca Friedman
Saul Natansohn
Teddy Friedman
Janet Wertheimer

About the Rescuing Hope Seminar

Rescuing Hope participants share their experiences and reflect on the value of participating in an intergenerational learning program.

Rescuing Hope is an intergenerational seminar that draws from our Jewish tradition of sharing stories (our own and those who witnessed the Holocaust first-hand) to identify lessons that can help us build our community and future together. Exploring experiences of antisemitism, resistance, and resilience during the darkest period of our history with a diverse group of learners from three or four generations will foster meaningful, multifaceted discussion, giving rise to different perspectives that will deepen our shared learning.

To participate in our next Rescuing Hope cohort, contact Rabbi Philip Sherman.

TBE is grateful to be a participant in the Better Together Program.

 

Upcoming Events

Jan 09

Rescuing Hope: An Intergenerational Exploration of the Holocaust (Hybrid)

Sunday, January 9, 2022 | 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm UTC-5
Jan 23

Rescuing Hope: An Intergenerational Exploration of the Holocaust (Hybrid)

Sunday, January 23, 2022 | 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm UTC-5
Jan 30

Rescuing Hope: An Intergenerational Exploration of the Holocaust (Hybrid)

Sunday, January 30, 2022 | 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm UTC-5

View all upcoming Rescuing Hope events