Vol. 12


Hidden Away

c. 1943; Nice, France

Were you ever away from your family for a long time? Well, Esther Taub, my great-grandmother, was not with her family for more than two and a half years.

In 1943, during the Holocaust, Esther Taub was a young teenager who was separated from her family. All the parents of the young children had to trust an organization that was called “The Underground.” This was an organization that protected young Jewish children by hiding them and having them pretend they were not Jewish. The parents were not told where their children were. They did not even know the address. They were allowed to write letters but were unable to add an address.

The Jewish children, including Esther Taub, had to hide their Jewish religion and Jewish practices. It was very scary for all the young children, including my great-grandmother. While hiding, the children learned how to sew, which was one of the main activities. Sometimes they went for walks, but it was very scary and they had to act very serious.

Every day they had to pray in the church. Esther Taub wrote to her parents and reminded them that she remembered where she came from and her Jewish roots.

When the Holocaust was finally over, The Underground helped the young children find any remaining family they may have. Esther Taub was one of the “lucky ones” who found both her parents alive, unlike many of her friends, who had lost both their parents, or at least one, as well as many other family members. Esther Taub’s family was so very thankful to The Underground for caring for their daughter and keeping her alive during the war.

Many years later the head nun of The Underground was honored by the Holocaust museum in Israel. I cannot believe I am related to such a wonderful woman who went through the scary days and difficult challenges of World War II!

Shana Kaminetzky; New York, USA



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