Judith Bronheim was born in Brussels, Belgium, and when the war broke out was able to go by train to the south of France. Her family hid on a farm for 2 years. In 1942, they boarded on the last freighter that left France. After a 10-week voyage at sea, on June 30, 1942, they landed in New York where her paternal uncle received them. Her parents and sister luckily survived the war, but unfortunately many relatives perished.
Frieda Justen was born in Poland and forced by the Nazis into Russian-occupied Poland . She was shipped to Siberia with her family and into a work camp. After the war she met and married her husband in an Austrian DP camp. They eventually moved to Israel where Frieda served in the Israeli army. Frieda lost many in her extended family, and her husband lost the majority of his relatives.
Joseph Perl grew up in Chust, Czechoslovakia. The Germans invaded and rounded up his entire family. His father, a Rabbi and shochet, and mother, 16 sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews were all taken to Auschwitz. Joe, 3 of his brothers and two sisters were the only ones to survive.
Sol Schaikowitz fought his way through France, Belgium, and Germany including the Battle of Bastogne. He helped liberate two slave Labor camps including Mittlbrau Dora in Nordhausen before Germany surrendered. e received the Medal of Freedom for landing in France on D Day and 4 Battle Stars for Normandy Battles, Northern France, Rhineland, Bastogne and Northern Germany. Sol was awarded the French Legion of Honor for his service to the French government during World War II and became a French Legionnaire.
Rubin Shafran was born in Uchanie, Poland. He spent the World War II years in hiding in a forest as a Partisan. Some 72 members of his family were murdered including his mother, 2 sisters, and his grandparents. He survived with his father and lived in Italy until coming to the United States in 1949. He was drafted in the US army in Sept. 1954 and was stationed in Hawaii. After the service, he moved to NY, got married and had 3 sons and now has 8 grandchildren.
Their stories remind us why we must never forget and must honor the legacy of those who perished.