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Studio portrait of Berthe and Sara Silber in matching outfits.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 38304

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    Studio portrait of Berthe and Sara Silber in matching outfits.
    Studio portrait of Berthe and Sara Silber in matching outfits.


    Studio portrait of Berthe and Sara Silber in matching outfits.
    Circa 1936 - 1937
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Variant Locale
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Bracha Silber Scheinman

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Bracha Silber Scheinman

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Bracha Scheinman (born Berthe Silber) is the daughter of Chaim and Mania (Wasser) Silber, a Polish Jewish couple who had moved first to Germany and then to Belgium in the interwar period. Berthe was born on November 2, 1930 in Antwerp, where her father worked as a diamond cutter. She had a sister Sara (b. 1934) and another named Chava who died as a young child before the war. After the German occupation of Belgium, the family fled to Luchon, France, where they were arrested in October 1940 and sent to a detention camp near Toulouse. A few days later the family escaped in the middle of the night and fled to a nearby refugee camp. In November, when the Silbers learned that the French police were rounding-up refugees for internment, they fled again, settling temporarily in the village of Eauze. Berthe remained there until June 1942, when she was sent to Faverges, a children's home in the Haute Savoie directed by a Swiss woman by the name of Sina Jecklin. Since the home would accept only one child per family, Berthe's sister was not permitted to join her. In August Berthe received a letter from her parents telling her that they had been taken to the Le Vernet internment camp, but that they were still hoping to get Sara into Faverges. This was their final communication before they were sent to Drancy and deported on convoy #28 to Auschwitz, where they all perished. Later that summer Berthe was guided to the Swiss border by Emma and Walter Gianinni and smuggled across in the company of Rosa Spiegel. The two girls were taken to Basel, where they were taken in by the parents of Sina Jecklin. After a few months the girls were moved to the Jewish orphanage in Basel, where they lived for the rest of the war. In September 1945 Berthe immigrated to Palestine with a Youth Aliyah group, sailing on board the Mataroa. Soon after her arrival she settled on Kibbutz Neve Eitan. Later, Berthe married Jakob Scheinman, a survivor from Tarnobrzeg, Poland, who had lived out the war in Siberia. In 1945-46 he made his way to Germany, where he lived temporarily in the Wetzlar displaced persons camp, before immigrating to Palestine aboard an illegal refugee ship.
    Record last modified:
    2004-05-25 00:00:00
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