Holocaust Survivor Stories

Survivor Story

Sarah Miller

OH BEAUTIFUL
  SWITZERLAND, HOW I REMEMBER THEE!

Sarah Miller is a Holocaust Survivor who lives in the Greater Boston community. Born in France, she escaped Nazi controlled Europe through a series of fortuitous events and the acts of righteous gentiles.

Sarah has written extensively about her memories, her experience, and the effects that the Holocaust has had on her
life. Here is her story.

PREFACE

This story is dedicated to the heroes and heroines of the French Jewish Resistance called “La Sixieme” (The Six) a group of young men and women dedicated to rescuing Jewish children from deportation and annihilation.

 

In their task to find shelter for those children of all ages, they roamed through occupied France (1940-1944) risking their lives daily. Some paid the ultimate price. They saved thousands of children from babies to adolescents, I was one of them.

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

I will always remember the handsome young man who came to my parents’ hiding place in Paris to pick me up. I was a teenager then.  He gave me a false identity card, taught me a new family background corresponding to my forged papers, he told me to remember it all well, in case we were being questioned on the train by the French police or the German Gestapo.  To the terror in my eyes he responded with a gentle smile, to my parents he said not to worry, and we went to the train
station on our way to Clermont Ferrand, the capital city of Puy De Dome, France.

 

 

We arrived safely.  I remember doing a lot of walking, up and down hills toward my new home, feeling exhausted and hungry.  Nevertheless, I could not help but stop for a moment or so to admire those majestic mountains surrounding the city.

We arrived at an apartment, our “safe house” as we called it. It was a busy place where leaders met. Sometimes bringing along children in transit to other safe places, and some, like me, were there to stay. Our leaders came regularly to check on our well being. They also find paying jobs for some of us, me included.  We were a group of teenagers, girls and boys living as a family. We did not have much money and food was rationed. Still, we joked and laughed a lot, and we sang too. 


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Greater Boston Survivor Stories

In the years after the Holocaust, the Greater Boston became home to many Holocaust Survivors. For the past 60 years, the Boston Survivor Community has united to spread Holocaust awareness, to teach the lessons of the Holocaust to upcoming generations, to speak out against modern day hatred and intolerance, and to tell their stories.

In 1992, the Survivor community worked with the City of Boston to establish the New England Holocaust Memorial, located near Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall. Under the leadership of American Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors President Israel Arbeiter and Holocuast Survivor Steven Ross, the Memorial has become an important tool for Holocaust education and the propagation of Holocaust memory. 

Boston area Holocaust Survivors visit schools, houses of worship, college campuses, and attend many community gatherings to tell their stories. Each year, the Survivor community leads the Boston Community in the annual Yom HaShoah Commemoration at Faneuil Hall. In November of 2005, the Survivor community inaugurated the First International Day of Remembrance for Victims of the Holocaust at a ceremony inside the House of Representative Chamber.

On this page, you will find a collection of Survivor stories from the Boston community and beyond. As we approach a critical time when Survivors will no longer be around to tell their stories, it becomes increasingly important to preserve their histories and to make them accessible.

If you are or your family would like to submit a Holocaust Survivor Story, please call or email  Deborah Donig. Stories will be posted on this site as submitted, with provisions to allow for spelling and grammatical changes.

Thank you for reading these stories and for ensuring that the legacy of the Holocaust will continue into the future.