Vol. 14


Reunited at Last

1940–1947; Ostend, Belgium; New York, New York, USA; London, England, UK

Imagine an eight-year-old girl with her family, running to a gate at the Belgium-France border with a huge line of people. That little girl was my great-grandmother Suzy Gunzburg. She thought waiting on that line felt like years instead of hours. Then she and her family reached the front of the line after waiting a very long time. The Allied1 soldiers were about to close the gates. They let Suzy’s parents go, and one sister, but not Suzy herself, her uncle Chaim, or Suzy’s other sister. The gates were closed in their faces, and Suzy’s parents and her sisters began to cry.

Then Suzy’s uncle came up with an idea. He proposed to the soldiers to let his nieces go to the other side of the gate, and that day Chaim would sign up to fight with the Allied forces. The guard agreed to have him enlist.

Suzy’s family could not get a visa to go to the United States, so they settled in Cuba. Five years later they got their visas to go to New York City.

After years of worrying and wondering what had happened to his brother, Suzy’s father, Judah Gunzburg, still had hope that his brother would arrive in New York, or that he would even hear that his brother was alive. Then one day Judah placed an ad in the Yiddish newspaper, hoping his brother would see it and come to America.

It turned out that Suzy’s uncle Chaim had survived the war and lived in London. He also didn’t know what had happened to his brother and his brother’s family, but he hoped to see them again.

It happened that one day Chaim went to buy a herring at the fish market. In that period the fish in the market were wrapped in newspaper. The fish seller just happened to be Jewish, and he wrapped all the fish in Yiddish newspapers that he had finished reading. And it just so happened that the newspaper Chaim’s fish was wrapped in was the newspaper Judah had put the ad in for his brother. Once Chaim saw the ad, he reunited with his family and lived in America for the rest of his days.

Yonina Pfeffer; New York, USA


1. The “Allies” were the twenty-six countries, including the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union (USSR), that fought against Germany, Japan, and other countries in World War II.



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