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Immigration Matters

The impact of World War II on the Jews of Europe was horrific. Millions murdered, entire families wiped out, and whole communities destroyed. Survivors found it nearly impossible to return home. In most cases, there was no one and nothing left. Many Jews had also been informed on by their non-Jewish neighbors when the Germans were seeking those who were hiding. Jews were not eager to live among those neighbors again. There were millions of refugees and displaced persons looking for new homes. Beba was one of them.

This experience will take approximately 15 minutes.
1945
1945
United Nations established

Rescued by British Army, Beba finds herself in a Red Cross hospital in Sweden.

After all the ordeals she’s been through she doesn’t want to go back to Poland or Russia. She also doesn’t want to go to Palestine like many of the other surviving Jews.

Beba remembers that her father once said:

“If you ever need help, contact the Jewish Daily Forward in New York. Your Uncle Lasar has a connection with them.”

Sweden, Helsingborg
July 28, 1945
To: Forward Editorial

Esteemed Herr Editor!

This letter to you is being written by someone you don’t know. I’m writing to you with a request and hope that you will help me achieve it. As you can see I am writing from Sweden, but I myself am from Poland - from Vilna. I’ve survived various concentration camps in Germany but have lost my entire family and all my friends. I was very sick and as a result the British government sent me to Sweden to heal. I am well by now and I want to find my relatives in America. To that end I am asking you, Honorable Editor Sir, to help me. I am looking for my uncles, Lasar Epstein and Isaac.

Lasar Epsein arrived in America several years ago from China (Tian Shan). As far as I know he wrote for the Forverts and was a co-worker at YIVO and even lectured there. My uncle Lasar Epstein is my closest and most loved relative. Next to him is his brother Isaac Epstein. As far as I know, he lives in NY. These clues are probably not enough to find people in America. I also have an uncle in Montreal, Canada. His name is Sender Senitsky. He is a teacher by calling and was also a co-worker at YIVO. He left Vilna to go to his mother-in-law’s parents who live in Montreal.

Please send me the exact addresses or any information of my relatives. You can also write to me in English as I’m quite good at languages. Please write in care of the Stockholm’s Rabbi’s address whom I keep in contact with.

His address is:

Rabbi Jacobson
Stockholm
Odengatan 28
Sverige (par avion)

Awaiting your reply on which all my hopes depend.

With esteem,
Beba Epstein

20 years


Soon after, in Palestine, a friend of her Uncle Lasar was listening to the radio and heard something that alerted him…

Beba sails for a new life in the United States. Nothing will ever make up for all the horrors and losses she has been through. But there is hope for a new beginning.

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