Marie Silverman lived in Antwerp, Belgium with her parents and sister, Jeanette when World War II began.
When the Nazis invaded, the family fled to France and hid in the barn of a farm in Toulouse in May 1940. They were discovered by the Germans and deported to the Rivesaltes camp in Perpignan, France. With the help of the Underground, the the girls escaped and were taken to a hiding place in Vence. Later the sisters were reunited with their parents at the hiding place with the help of the Underground. However, Marie’s father died shortly after, due to starvation and the harsh treatment he received at the camp.
Later, Marie, Jeanette and their mother were moved to a chateau in the mountains that was relinquished to make a safe haven for Jewish refugees. From their two couriers took the two girls across the Pyrenees Mountains on foot to Barcelona Spain in August of 1943 where they met their aunt and uncle. From Spain, the children were given visas to travel to the United States in April 1944.
The children were placed in an orphanage and later with foster families until their mother was able to reunite with them in 1949.