Zofia Rapaport

Zofia Rapaport

Born: May 6, 1933

Warsaw, Poland

Zofia was born to a Jewish family in Warsaw. Zofia's father, a self-made man who had put himself through university, was a successful banker. The Rapaports lived on a street of single-family homes with gardens. Zofia's room was decorated with yellow lacquered furniture.

1933-39: As a young child, Zofia loved to play with her dog, Chapek. Sometimes she got to go shopping with her mother downtown. Each year during the Jewish holiday of Passover her family visited Zofia's grandparents in Lvov. In late August 1939, when she was 6, her father was called for military duty; two days later war broke out. Her father returned in November and said the family should escape to Lvov, which was occupied by the Soviets.

1940-44: In Lvov Zofia's father found work as an accountant, and she started first grade at a Ukrainian school. In 1941, when she was 8, the Germans occupied Lvov. Her parents managed to return to Warsaw to hide with one of her father's former employees. Zofia was sent to the country to live with a very poor peasant family. After several months the neighbors became suspicious and the peasants brought her back to her parents in Warsaw. They were confined in a tiny room and for two years they spoke in whispers and didn't dare go near the window.

After the 1944 Warsaw uprising, Zofia and her mother made their way to Cracow, where they stayed until the Soviets freed the city in 1945. Her father died in a Nazi camp.