Finding New Homes UNESCO 2014 Exhibit

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Finding New Homes

Bella Arnett

Language: English

Bella Arnett (née Froman) was born on September 6, 1917 in Warsaw, Russian Empire (now Poland). She had three brothers and two sisters. Bella’s father, Chaim,
was a shoikhet, performing the ritual slaughter of animals according to Jewish tradition. He observed Ger Hasidism and was a respected member of the local community. Before the war, Bella attended a Polish school and received Jewish education at home.

Warsaw was invaded by Nazi Germany in fall 1939; a year later the Froman family was incarcerated in the Warsaw ghetto, established by the occupying authorities in October 1940. Soon thereafter, Bella married Meyer Aronowicz, in November 1940. She obtained Aryan papers and got a job in a military garment factory outside of the ghetto. When hunger broke out in the ghetto, Bella helped her family smuggle food. Bella and Meyer survived the war living under false identity. Bella’s parents and siblings perished during the Holocaust.

After the liberation of Warsaw by the Soviet armed forces in January 1945, Bella and her husband left Poland and settled in the Lampertheim displaced persons camp in Germany. They then immigrated to New York in April 1948. In the United States, Bella worked in corsetry to help supplement her husband’s income. At the time of her interview, Bella had two children and four grandchildren.

The interview was conducted on March 17, 1995 in Great Neck, NY, United States; interviewer: Tina Tito; videographer: Ramin Fathie. Bella Arnett passed away on June 8, 2013.

  • Bella Arnett

    Language: English

    Bella Arnett (née Froman) was born on September 6, 1917 in Warsaw, Russian Empire (now Poland). She had three brothers and two sisters. Bella’s father, Chaim,
    was a shoikhet, performing the ritual slaughter of animals according to Jewish tradition. He observed Ger Hasidism and was a respected member of the local community. Before the war, Bella attended a Polish school and received Jewish education at home.

    Warsaw was invaded by Nazi Germany in fall 1939; a year later the Froman family was incarcerated in the Warsaw ghetto, established by the occupying authorities in October 1940. Soon thereafter, Bella married Meyer Aronowicz, in November 1940. She obtained Aryan papers and got a job in a military garment factory outside of the ghetto. When hunger broke out in the ghetto, Bella helped her family smuggle food. Bella and Meyer survived the war living under false identity. Bella’s parents and siblings perished during the Holocaust.

    After the liberation of Warsaw by the Soviet armed forces in January 1945, Bella and her husband left Poland and settled in the Lampertheim displaced persons camp in Germany. They then immigrated to New York in April 1948. In the United States, Bella worked in corsetry to help supplement her husband’s income. At the time of her interview, Bella had two children and four grandchildren.

    The interview was conducted on March 17, 1995 in Great Neck, NY, United States; interviewer: Tina Tito; videographer: Ramin Fathie. Bella Arnett passed away on June 8, 2013.

  • Sonia Klein

    Language: English

    Sonia Klein (née Joskowicz) was born on June 16, 1925 in Warsaw, Poland. Her parents Itzack and Jospa Joskowicz, ran a family business selling fruit, vegetables, wood, and coal. Sonia was the oldest of three children; she had a sister and a brother. Before the war, she attended a public school and aspired to be a teacher.

    When the war broke out in September 1939, Sonia’s family home was destroyed during the bombardment of Warsaw, and together with her parents and siblings she moved in with distant relatives until the ghetto was established in the city, in 1940. While in the ghetto, Sonia fell ill with typhoid. As rumors about deportations to Treblinka spread in early 1943, Itzack, together with other fellow ghetto inhabitants, built an underground bunker of 75-person capacity. When the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began on April 19, 1943, the Joskowicz family was hiding in the bunker. German tanks arrived to suppress the the revolt, and roundups of Jews began. The family was discovered by German soldiers, arrested, and deported to the Majdanek concentration camp. Sonia’s mother and 10-year old brother were separated from the rest of the family upon arrival, never to be seen again. Sonia and her sister soon parted with their father, transferred to Auschwitz II-Birkenau. Itzack remained in Majdanek and was murdered the next day. From Birkenau , Sonia and her sister were transferred to Auschwitz I, in October 1944, and in January 1945 they were taken to the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany. As the Allied armed forces drew near, they were transferred again, to the Taucha concentration camp and eventually taken out of the camp on a forced march. The prisoners were set free when the territory was liberated by the American army in April 1945.

    In June 1945, Sonia married Joseph Klein; they had a son, Alan. The couple lived in Mittenwald in Bavaria and immigrated to the United States, in December 1949. They settled in Buffalo, New York, where Sonia worked in a catering business. The family moved to North Miami Beach, FL in the 1980s.

    The interview was conducted on February 6, 1996 in North Miami Beach, FL, United States; interviewer: Bonnie Slavin; videographer: Abraham Olman.

  • Simon Drucker

    Language: French

    Simon Drucker was born in 1924 in Paris, France, in a Jewish family of Polish origin. His parents, Abraham and Thérèse, left Poland in 1921. Simon had a younger
    brother, Isidore. Engaged in the French Foreign Legion during the outbreak of the war, Abraham was arrested in June 1942 and deported first to Pithiviers, and later to Auschwitz, where he was murdered.

    On July 16, 1942, Simon, Thérèse, and Isidore were arrested during the Vélodrome d’Hiver roundup. Interned in the Beaune-la-Rolande concentration camp, he witnessed the deportation of his mother and brother, who perished in Auschwitz. Simon was also deported and incarcerated in more than ten concentration camps and
    prisons between 1942 and 1945. Before Allied Forces liberated the territory where he last escaped from a camp, he escaped, and survived in the Czechoslovak countryside.

    In May 1945, Simon was repatriated to Paris. Simon lost all of his family members during the Holocaust. In 1948, he left France to fight in Israel’s War of Independence. He returned to France in 1952. In Paris, he met his wife in 1953, whom he married in 1954. The couple’s daughter was born in 1957. When his interview was filmed, he had one grandson.

    The interview was conducted in Paris on February 21, 1997. The interviewer was Phlippe Stroun and the cameraman was Sylvain Kauffmann.