Kristen Wright, The Florida Holocaust Museum’s Writer and Digital Content Manager
Holocaust Survivor Marie Silverman is on site at The FHM this morning sharing her story to a packed house of students.
As a child, Marie lived in Antwerp, Belgium with parents and sister. Her family fled to France and went into hiding on a farm in Toulouse after the German invasion in May of 1940.
They were discovered by Germans and deported to Rivesalte camp in Perpignan, France. Marie, her mother, and her sister escaped with help of the underground. Marie and her sister were taken to hiding place in Vence, then were moved by the underground to chateau in mountains relinquished to make a safe haven for Jewish children. Marie’s father died of starvation and harsh treatment in a concentration camp.
Marie and her sister arrived in the United States in April of 1944 and were placed in orphanage. They moved to foster homes in Providence, Rhode Island and were eventually reunited with their mother in 1949.
“In May of 1940, I was 9 and my sister was 5 ½ years old. That’s when the Germans invaded Antwerp, Belgium. The next four years were a time of fear and confusion. We managed to run, with bare necessities, to board a train heading toward France. Our first stop was Toulouse, where we were hidden by farm people who put their own lives in jeopardy by helping Jews. The Germans found our hiding place and transported us to a deportation camp, Rivesalte in Perpignan, France. We escaped without my father and went into designated hiding place in Vence, my father died a short time later as a result of the treatment in the camp. Then we hid in Creuse in a chateau and finally mother sent my sister and I out of France with two men who worked for the underground. We crossed the Pyrenees Mountains on foot with these two men. These brave men delivered us to my Aunt who already was in Barcelona, Spain. From there we traveled to Lisbon, Portugal and finally April of 1944 we arrived in the United States alone.”