Descendant Stories

Susan Diamond

I was born in 1947 in Kosice, Czechoslovakia. I lived there with my parents and younger sister, not far from where the atrocities had been committed, and among the people who witnessed the horrors. When I grew up, life on the surface seemed normal; it was not an unhappy life. We were fairly comfortable, and my parents never spoke about their experiences during the Holocaust. But underneath it all I always sensed something that I didn’t fully understand, a certain burden, some unexplained issues. (read the full story)




Lily Levy

I was born after the war in Siedlce Poland, my parents’ hometown. I was a few months old when we moved to France, where we lived for a short period of time, and from there we left for Israel, where we settled. I was about a year old when we got there.

An only child, I grew up in Tel Aviv, in a silent house. It was not an unhappy home, just silent. Neither my father, nor my mother ever spoke to me about their Holocaust experiences. There were other survivors in our neighborhood; in fact, all of our relatives and family friends were Holocaust survivors. (read the full story)



Steve Besserman Profile Photo sqSteve Besserman

I am the son of Holocaust Survivors, and I learned about the Holocaust at an early age. My sister and I learned about it from my mother, who told us in great detail about her and her sisters’ horrific experiences and the loss of their mother, our grandmother, to the gas chamber and crematorium at Auschwitz.

The Holocaust was also the explanation for how my mother, a girl from a small village in Hungary, met my father who was from a small town in Poland, and how they fell in love under the most inhuman conditions and survived the evil beyond imagination. (read the full story)



Sheila Schindel sqSheila Schindel

Throughout my childhood when I asked my parents about their years spent living and growing up in Europe, they discouraged any conversation concerning their painful loses and hardships. I was mostly interested in family members, the locations of their homes and how and why they came to the United States. I was able to receive many answers to my questions and find out more information than I had expected, on my journey to Poland in April 2013. I never imagined how that experience would change my life. (read the full story)




Leah original 200x200pLeah Rosenberg

My father, Kalman Orchier (Orzechowski), died in Israel in 2002 at the age of 94. Although most of his friends and contemporaries had already passed, his funeral was attended by scores of people who came to pay their respects to a remarkable man who in spite of his difficult childhood, the horrors of antisemitism and the Holocaust, was able to start over time after time and accomplish his dreams. (read the full story)

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