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Shortly after the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, William's family was ordered into a ghetto and his brother went to a work camp. William bribed officials to discharge his brother from a hospital destined for evacuation to Auschwitz. Later, after escaping from a prison camp to tend to his brother, William was jailed. He was sent to Blechhammer, Gleiwitz (where he met his future wife), and other camps. William collapsed during a death march near the Austrian border, but was then liberated. His parents and brother perished.
Susan was 19 years old when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939. Her boyfriend, Nathan, was in Lvov when the Soviet Union occupied eastern Poland. Nathan sent a guide to Warsaw to bring Susan to the Soviet zone of occupied Poland. Her parents reluctantly agreed after Susan promised to return to Warsaw within two weeks. Upon her arrival in Lvov, Susan married Nathan. The couple then fled across the Lithuanian border to Vilna, where they stayed for a year. They received a visa for transit through Japan and left Lithuania in January 1941, traveling across the Trans-Siberian Railroad to Japan. Nathan, an engineer, applied for entrance to Canada, which permitted the immigration of persons with important professional skills. Susan and her husband left Japan for Vancouver, Canada, in June 1941.
When German forces invaded Poland in September 1939, Ruth's father fled to eastern Poland. Upon the Soviet occupation of eastern Poland, he fled to Lithuania. Ruth left Warsaw with two friends to find her father and later joined him in Vilna. After Soviet forces occupied Lithuania, Ruth and her father obtained transit visas for Japan, but only Ruth obtained a Soviet exit visa. Her father insisted she leave and not wait for him. Ruth traveled by the Trans-Siberian Railroad across the Soviet Union to Vladivostok. She arrived by ship in Japan; her father and uncles later joined her in Kobe, Japan. Ruth traveled to the United States during the war, on a ship carrying wounded soldiers from the front. Her mother, brother, and sisters perished in the Holocaust.
After World War I, Yonia's family moved to Vilna. Yonia studied painting and graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vilna. When Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Yonia was living with his wife in Warsaw. They fled to Brest-Litovsk in eastern Poland, occupied by Soviet forces in mid-September 1939. Then Yonia and his wife escaped to Vilna. After the Soviets occupied Vilna in June 1940, Yonia and his wife forged Japanese transit visas and left for Japan. In Japan, they were unable to obtain valid visas for another country and were forced to remain. Japanese authorities required them to relocate to Shanghai in Japanese-occupied China in the fall of 1941. They remained in Shanghai for the duration of the war. In 1948, Yonia and his wife immigrated to Mexico. In 1956, Yonia immigrated to the United States.
Meri and her family lived in Warsaw at the time of the German invasion of Poland. After the invasion, Meri's father fled to Vilna. She joined him there in December 1939. After the Soviet occupation of Lithuania in 1940, Meri's father obtained transit visas through Japan for himself and Meri. He left for Japan first, using a false identity, and arrived there in February 1941. Meri soon followed him. In Japan, Meri and her father obtained visas to enter the United States. American relief organizations arranged their passage to San Francisco. They arrived in the United States in April 1941. Meri's mother remained in Warsaw during the war. She survived in hiding and by using false papers to avoid arrest by the Germans. She was reunited with her husband and daughter in New York after the war.
Norbert was 3 years old when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939. He and his mother were in Warsaw; his father had been drafted into the Polish army and later ended up in Vilna. Norbert and his mother set out to join him and the family was reunited after a few months. After the family had been in Vilna for about a year, Norbert's father was able to obtain visas for Curacao in the Dutch West Indies and visas for transit through Japan. Norbert and his parents left Vilna in January 1941, and arrived in Kobe, Japan, in February. They stayed in Japan for the next eight months, until Japanese authorities required them to leave for Shanghai in Japanese-occupied China. Norbert and his parents spent the rest of the war in Shanghai. In June 1947 the family immigrated to the United States with the aid of Jewish American servicemen stationed in Shanghai after the war.
Following the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, Alexander and his family fled eastward to Lvov. His father then fled to Vilna, hoping to obtain visas for the family to escape through Japan. The rest of the family was caught while trying to cross border into Lithuania in order to meet up with Alexander's father. They returned to Lvov. Alexander and his mother were later arrested for refusing to declare Soviet citizenship. They were sent to a labor camp in the Soviet interior. After their release from the camp they remained in the Soviet Union until 1946. Alexander's father had been able to flee to Japan and then to the United States in 1941; the rest of the family immigrated to the United States in 1947.
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