Rose Ruschin describes how she was able to escape to England.
Rose Ruschin (née Wulkan) was born in 1921, in Berlin, Germany. Rose’s father was originally from Oświęcim, Poland but moved to Germany for work. Her parents married in 1920, and Rose was raised in a traditionally Orthodox home.
With the rise of National Socialism, Rose experienced antisemitism at school, as well as in public. She experienced the terror of the Kristallnacht pogrom in Berlin. In 1939 Rose’s parents were expelled from Germany because they possessed only Polish citizenship.
Rose did not want to go to Poland as she planned to study nursing in England. She secured the necessary permits and left Germany 6 weeks before the war broke out. In London, England, Rose met a German-Jewish émigré who volunteered for the British army. In 1941, the couple married. It was a dangerous time in London, and Rose experienced the German bombardment of the city. Eventually, Rose was left homeless when her apartment was destroyed in a German bombardment. By this time Rose was pregnant with her first child and so she traveled to the small village where her husband was stationed.
After the war, Rose suffered terrible nightmares and was plagued with guilt when she discovered that her parents were killed in Auschwitz-Birkenau. This led to a mental breakdown as Rose needed time to recover and process the loss of her parents. Rose also discovered that one of her brothers got out of Germany on a Kindertransport to British Mandate Palestine. He lived on a kibbutz and was a violinist.
Rose and her family, as well as her brother, immigrated to Toronto, Canada in 1951. They wanted to start a new life, in a new country. In Canada, Rose’s second child was born and the family enjoyed a happy life.
Rose Ruschin died in 2009 and his full testimony is part of the Canadian Collection of Holocaust survivor testimonies. It is preserved in the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive and accessible through the Ekstein Library.
We were simply, afraid.
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