She Found Herself In Her Family History | Child Holocaust Survivor Rena Quint | USC Shoah Foundation
Author: USC Shoah Foundation via YouTube
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October is Family History Month, which encourages genealogical research.
For many years, child Holocaust survivor, Rena Quint, wasn’t sure if her childhood memories were real.
She remembered seeing her mother and brothers for the last time, at around six years old, when she slipped out of a Piotrków synagogue where Nazis had rounded up hundreds of Jews. She remembered saying goodbye to her father when he entrusted her to a schoolteacher as they climbed out of a cattle car and women and children were sent one way, men another. But over the decades, she began to doubt her own memories. Did she really remember her brothers? She recalled her parents’ names, the feeling of their presence, but she couldn’t conjure up images of their faces. Over the years, so many people had questioned how such a young child could have survived the Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp without parents, that she began to suspect even her most visceral memories of the stench, the lice, the cold and hunger.
It wasn’t until the 1980s that Rena started to seek and find answers in repositories of Holocaust documents, in conversations with other survivors, and in Polish archives. In a records hall in Piotrków, she found her birth certificate, and those of her brothers. She also discovered her real date of birth, her mother’s maiden name, and the address of her childhood home.
Rena has worked hard to find a balance between moving beyond memory and living inside of it, between yearning to know—and have proof of—where she came from and what she lost, but of not wanting to be defined by it.
Read the full article at https://sfi.usc.edu/news/2022/10/34036-rena-quint-child-survivor-found-herself-her-family-history
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