ACT II: Feats of Gumption – A Survivor’s Story

by | Nov 19, 2018 | Older Adults | 0 comments

Rene has an incredible story to tell. She was born and raised Jewish in Czechoslovakia. When the war came to her hometown, Rene and her family were taken to Auschwitz. When she was only 16, Rene was separated from her parents. She would never see them again.

A Daring Escape

After surviving Auschwitz, Rene and her sister, Ana, were sent to a labor camp at a munitions factory in Germany. Along with two other girls, they made a daring escape. The soldiers guarding the girls took cover during the bombings by the Allied forces, which gave the girls a chance to run away.

With the help of several good samaritans, the girls made it to safety. Rene and her sister were reunited with their brother, who had also survived. After the war, Rene went to work for the British military government and married an American serviceman. She moved with him to America in 1948. Together, they had five children.

Sharing Her Story

Rene has travelled around the world to share her experiences. She tells her story for a very specific reason. She hopes that horrible atrocities like the Holocaust will never happen again, and that people will always stand up for those in need.

“If [you] see any injustice, speak up,” says Rene. “Don’t look the other way. Don’t say, ‘Well, it’s not happening to me.’ That’s really important. That we’re aware of what’s going on, because it can happen anyplace.”

Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services

Rene lives in Pinellas County, enjoying ACT II of life. She receives assistance from Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services, an organization dedicated to assisting Jewish seniors with caregiving and other basic needs. She also has the support of her friends and family, who visit her frequently and enjoy her warm aura and friendly disposition.