Theodora Rahela Klayman (born Teodora Rahela Basch) is the daughter of Salamon and Silva (Deutsch) Basch. She was born January 31, 1938, in Zagreb, Croatia, where her father ran a brush making workshop. Salamon came from a family of cantors from Bosnia. Silva, the daughter of Leopold and Katarina Deutsch, grew up in Ludbreg, a small town in northwest Croatia, where her father had been the local rabbi. Silva had two sisters, Giza and Blanka, and a brother Erne. Blanka married Rudi Apler and had two daughters, Zdenka and Vera. In 1939 Giza married her longtime Christian friend, Ljudevit (Ludva) Vrancic. He was a member of the minor aristocracy, an amateur violinist, bank manager, and the unofficial mayor of Ludbreg. Teodora had one sibling, a brother, Zdravko, who was born January 21, 1941. Shortly after his birth, Teodora was sent to her grandparents in Ludbreg for an extended visit. While she was there the fascist Ustasa movement seized control of Croatia and established the Independent State of Croatia, a Nazi puppet regime. In June 1941 the new regime began large-scale arrests of Jews in Zagreb. Among the first to be detained were Teodora's parents and brother. Their housekeeper visited them in jail and was given permission to remove the baby, Zdravko, who she immediately delivered to the family's relatives in Ludbreg. Salamon and Silva were soon transferred to concentration camps: Salamon, to Jasenovac, and Silva, to Stara Gradiska, where she perished. From that time on, Teodora and Zdravko lived with their aunt Giza (Deutsch) Vrancic and her non-Jewish husband, Ludva in Ludbreg. Their neighbors, the Rjunjaks helped care for the children and took them in when they needed to be hidden from the Ustasa. Early in the war, Teodora's Aunt Blanka (Deutsch) Apler, fled with her family to the Italian zone of Yugoslavia. They decided to return to Ludbreg, however, after an official decree was issued promising safety to returning Jewish refugees. In 1942 this promise was broken and most of the Jewish community of Ludbreg was deported. Among those taken were Teodora's grandparents and the Apler family, all of who perished. The next year Ludva was arrested on suspicion of being a partisan sympathizer and sent to Jasenovac for several months. There he saw Teodora's father Salamon. In the final year of the war, after Ludva's release, Giza was arrested on the basis of a denunciation. Ludva followed his wife in the hopes of freeing her. However, he soon lost track of her and returned to Ludbreg. He later learned that Giza had been taken to Auschwitz and died there in 1943. In 1944 Salamon also was killed. Soon after escaping from Jasenovac with a group of Jewish prisoners, he ran into a patrol and was shot. When the war was over Teodora and Zdravko remained with Ludva, who officially adopted them and lent them his name. Zdravko, however, soon came down with scarlet fever and died in 1946. Throughout his illness he was nursed by his faithful neighbor, Maria Runjak. Teodora stayed in Yugoslavia until 1957 when she left to attend school in Switzerland. During her studies she lived with her Uncle Josef Basch and his family. On her way to Switzerland Teodora chanced to meet an American Jew by the name of Daniel Klayman. After corresponding for a year Daniel came to Switzerland and married Teodora. Soon after she immigrated to the US. Of Teodora's extended family, only four of her aunts and uncles survived. On her mother's side, only her uncle Erne Deutsch survived. On her father's side, her Uncle Bernard Basch survived in a prisoner of war camp. Her Uncle Josef Basch fled from Zagreb to Budapest in 1943 and later secured a place for himself and his wife Magda on the Kasztner transport that first went to Bergen-Belsen before being taken to Switzerland. Finally, Teodora's Aunt Lina Basch survived with her two children, Rubin and Dina, in the mountains with the Yugoslav partisans.