Great Love Stories from the HolocaustInspiring tales of courage, grace and spirit
It is easy to find love in a beautiful place. But to find love in the shadow of death is most remarkable. And remarkable were the young Jews who, caught in the Holocaust, held onto life in ghettos, forests, transit camps, slave labor camps and death camps. Once liberation came, those who survived found themselves completely alone. With families, homes and communities gone, love, reborn, swept throughout the ruins of the war.
It would have been all too understandable if these young people had given up on human relationships. Their ability to love is yet another example of the zest for life that allowed them to emerge from the war with their values and humanity intact. Combining love with mourning, they began to rebuild their lives.Love was a gateway to the future: new lives, new lands, new homes and children.
Not all romances blossomed into marriages, nor should they have. Some of the unions that came forth from the Holocaust were an escape from pain and nightmares. Most couples, however, formed powerful bonds that would last for decades.
I am the child of such a romance. My parents, both widowed at Auschwitz, met in the Displaced Persons Camp of Bergen-Belsen immediately after liberation. My father was a political leader of the camp; my mother, who had lost a son, was a doctor there. They married in the summer of 1946 and remained: devoted to each other for the rest of their lives. Their love has inspired me, as will the stories that Moment has collected inspire and move all who read them.
Why tell these stories now? Sixty years after liberation, the generation of those who found love in the Holocaust and its aftermath are no longer young. In some cases one or both, including my parents, have passed away. Yet each love story—mysterious, deep and forged in pain—has something to teach us. In an era when marriage is so hard to hold onto, we have much to learn from the wisdom found in: these long lasting relationships.